A Lexington woman was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for assaulting a man with a brick she hurled through a window. The man later died.
Melissa Mondelli, 30, also received an additional year for escape. The sentences are to run consecutively, for a total of seven years.
A 12-month sentence on a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent use of a credit card is to be served simultaneously.
Mondelli was charged with assault for throwing a brick through a window of an East High Street apartment, injuring Thomas E. Reynolds, 76, in January 2009. Reynolds died five months later from blunt-force trauma injuries, according to Lexington police. A grand jury reindicted Mondelli in November 2009 on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.
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As part of a plea deal, she pleaded guilty last month to second-degree assault.
On Thursday, Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone followed the prosecutors' recommendation that Mondelli serve six years for assaulting Reynolds. The other sentences Mondelli received Thursday stem from incidents that occurred in 2010.
Mondelli is required to serve 20 percent of the seven years, less than 18 months, before she's eligible for parole. She will get credit for more than 300 days she was in jail before the sentencing.
Public defender Bonnie Potter told Scorsone that, had Mondelli gone to trial on the manslaughter charge, an expert witness would have testified that the injury caused by Mondelli did not cause Reynolds' death.
"From the very beginning, this was an assault case," Potter said. The injury Reynolds received from the thrown brick had healed before he died, she said.
But Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lori Boling said Reynolds was hospitalized for 10 days after he was hit by the brick and later went to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and to a nursing home. He would not have been in a nursing home, were it not for the injury, Boling said. Reynolds was never able to talk to police after the assault, she said.
Reynolds, a former University of Kentucky English instructor and Marine, was injured after he called police to his apartment, saying Mondelli was trying to break in. When officers arrived, Mondelli was gone, but they found Reynolds "with a serious head wound and a brick next to him," according to court documents.
Mondelli told the judge on Thursday that she was a drug addict.
"I can't show enough remorse for the heartache I've caused everyone," she said.
Potter asked Scorsone to consider sending Mondelli to a long-term substance abuse treatment program in Henderson, rather than prison.