MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Back in March 2019, Lori Wierzbicki was attacked in her home by a recently-evicted neighbor. Now, her attacker, who has been behind bars since the attack, may be released sooner than expected.
Wierzbicki has multiple sclerosis (MS) and is known to be a friendly neighbor. She has an “open door” policy in her home, frequently hosting friends and neighbors.
In March 2018, she hosted 56-year-old, recently-evicted Russel Molleur in her apartment under this policy, and he brutally attacked her.
Diagnosed with MS 10 years ago, she was unable to fight back. Molleur left Wierzbicki with severe injuries and a lifetime of trauma.
Now, Molleur, who was arrested and has been behind bars for about nine months, may be released.
Wierzbicki was contacted this week by the Connecticut Chief State Attorney’s Office out of Milford. They informed her that a plea deal struck could let Molleur out earlier than expected.
According to court documents, when Molleur was first arrested, he faced multiple charges including disorderly conduct assault in the first degree, strangulation in the first degree, unlawful restraint in the first degree, and tampering with evidence.
With the new plea deal, Molleur will only face two charges, and therefore less prison time.
“Letting him out possibly January 8, it’s like Russel attack all over,” Wierzbicki said.
Tim McLaughin, Wierzbicki’s brother, told News 8 he lost hope of justice being served with the recent news, saying, “The plea deal has reduced his charges to almost nothing, two years max sentence, not until that point did I lose hope.”
Since the plea deal last week, McLaughin has set up a petition to have the plea deal dropped and the original charges put back on the table.
“This is a miscarriage of justice and I can not sit by idly while my sister, who has little means, is left voiceless and without justice.
Please show your support by signing this petition and letting our Connecticut politicians know that we will not be lenient with those who abuse women and the disabled.”– Tim McLaughin, brother of brutally-attacked Milford woman
The petition already has over 7,000 signatures.
McLaughin’s hope has been restored since seeing the outpouring of support from the community.
News 8 reached out to Molleur’s public defender but received no comment.
He is due back in court to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2020.