Plainview Mom Gets 12 Years for Killing Daughter, 8

A woman was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for killing her disabled 8-year-old daughter on the day the victim was supposed to be the flower girl at her uncle’s wedding four years ago.

Veronica Cirella, 34, of Plainview, had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in May at Nassau County court.

“Julie Cirella’s young life was cut tragically short by the one person who should have protected her,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.

The uncle found the girl, who suffered from cerebral palsy, and her mother unconscious in their home on July 23, 2011. Veronica had a wire tied around her neck, a suicide note nearby and her daughter was not breathing. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cirella’s attorney argued that the death wasn’t intentional, saying that mother fed her M&Ms with peanuts as a treat the night before the wedding, but when she realized that they contained peanuts that the girl was allergic to, she gave the victim liquid Benadryl to counter the effects. The mother awoke the next morning to find her daughter dead.