Milford man takes stiffer plea deal in brutal assault of neighbor with multiple sclerosis

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Under mounting pressure, a judge issued a stiffer sentence Thursday to a Milford man who pleaded guilty to brutally attacking his neighbor who has multiple sclerosis.

Police say Russell Molleur repeatedly beat and choked his neighbor Lori Wierzbicki inside her home in March 2019. Wierzbicki has multiple sclerosis and couldn't fight back.

Molleur has been in custody since. Wierzbicki says even though her cuts and bruises have healed, she lives with the terror daily.

When she learned of the initial plea deal, she and her brother launched a social media campaign to get it tossed, something the judge did last month. In court, Wierzbicki thanked the judge for listening to her.

The initial plea deal included two years in prison with the ability to argue for less.

In exchange for Molleur admitting to assault on a disabled person and unlawful restraint, the judge sentenced him to four years in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Molleur offered no explanation or apology for the crime. 

Wierzbicki and her brother still objected to the new deal, saying it's not an appropriate sentence for what was done to her.

“Lock him up and throw away the key,” she said. “He's going to be a menace to society no matter what.”

Defense attorney Susan Brown told the court that Molleur is developmentally disabled with no prior convictions. She said when his mother, who was his caretaker, died, he started heavily drinking. Brown also said Molleur is remorseful and should get credit for confessing to police.

Tim McLaughlin, the victim’s brother, says he plans to focus his efforts on pushing for legislation that would give victims more rights.

When he finishes serving his time, the judge ordered that Molleur have no contact with the victim.




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