A State Supreme Court judge has sentenced Stacey Pagli to serve 20 years in prison for her role in the last spring on the campus.
On Feb. 1, 2011, Stacey Pagli pled guilty to first degree manslaughter — a class B felony — agreeing to serve 20 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea. Mental experts from the prosecution and defense determined that Stacey was under extreme emotional distress on Feb. 22, 2010 — the day she strangled Marissa to death in the Pagli family's apartment on the college campus.
Prosecutors believe Stacey dropped her and her husband John Pagli's other daughter Gianna off at daycare the morning of Marissa's death, and returned to the Pagli family apartment at about 9 a.m. At that time she immediately began to argue with Marissa, an 18-year-old freshman at Manhattanville. The argument became physical, and Stacey Pagli strangled her daughter to death.
Stacey then attempted to slit her own wrists and hang herself, according to police. Stacey's husband John Pagli, a maintenance worker at the school, discovered the scene several hours later, finding Marissa in the bedroom of the apartment and his wife unconscious. Stacey survived, Marissa was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police with second-degree murder — a class A felony — two days later at White Plains Hospital. Stacey has at least twice while in police custody, according to authorities. She had been suffering from depression for years before the incident, but was unaware of it's extent until the day she caused the death of her daughter, according to her attorney Allan Focarile.
The could have resulted in a life sentence if Stacey was convicted. But after reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case for nearly a year, the district attorney's office decided to offer the reduced the charge. Assistant District Attorney Timothy Ward prosecuted the case.
After Stacey entered a guilty plea in February, Focarile said two fights in the days leading up to the death of Marissa caused Stacey, 39, to lose control and cause the death of her daughter.
"He (John Pagli) essentially told her 'go and kill yourself, and I don't love you anymore — I hate you'," Focarile said at the time.
"She lost control, and what happened happened."
Acting State Supreme Court Judge Richard Molea sentenced Stacey on Tuesday. She will be eligible for parole in 2028, when she will be 55 years old, according to Focarile. Gianna Pagli was three years old at the time of the Marissa's death. Gianna will be in her early 20s when her mother is eligible for release.
Marissa graduated from Harrison High School in 2009 and was a freshman at Manhattanville College at the time of her death. She was a volleyball player for the school and grew up living on the campus.
This February, one year after Marissa's death, students to remember their former classmate. The school has also named a building on the campus after her, the The Marissa A. Pagli house is home to eight Manhattanville upperclassmen in an isolated corner of the campus overlooking the athletic fields.