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NYC Woman Gets 8-Year Term For Death Of Broadway Vocal Coach

A 28-year-old woman pleaded guilty to shoving a beloved 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach, leaving her fatally wounded on a New York City street, Law & Crime reports. Lauren Pazienza, 28, admitted to one count of manslaughter in the first degree in the death of Barbara Gustern. Pazienza will be sentenced to eight years in state prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, called it a “senseless and unprovoked attack.” “Lauren Pazienza aggressively shoved Barbara Gustern to the ground and walked away as the beloved New Yorker lay there bleeding. Today’s plea holds Pazienza accountable for her deadly actions,” he said. “We continue to mourn the loss of Barbara Gustern, a talented musical theater performer and vocal coach who touched so many in New York City and beyond.”


Pazienza’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, had suggested that he evidence of his client’s guilt wasn’t necessarily clear.

“Whether it was a push, whether it was a shove, whether it was a kick or whether someone tripped — the evidence is not very solid on that at all,” he said, local NBC affiliate WNBC reported. On March 10. Pazienza was walking from Chelsea Park when she crossed the street, shouted obscenities at Gustern, shoved her to the ground and walked away, officials said. Gustern was still lucid after the attack and told a friend: “I’ve never been hit so hard in my life.” Paramedics rushed Gustern to the hospital, where she became unconscious and died five days after being removed from life support. She had a massive hemorrhage to the left side of her brain. She didn’t mention the assault until late that evening when she told her fiance she had pushed someone, prosecutors said. After reading a news article about Gustern, she became “really scared and nervous.” She deleted her social media accounts, took down her wedding website, and fled to Long Island to stay with family. Gustern was a legendary vocal coach who coached rock stars and Broadway singers.

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