A Nassau County Grand Jury has indicted a Plainview mother on murder charges, alleging she intentionally fed her 8-year-old daughter food she was allergic to on the day she was to serve as a flower girl, authorities said
, 31, of Shelly Court, was indicted on second-degree murder charges in the death of her daughter. Cirella appeared before Judge David Sullivan in Mineola on the charges and was ordered held without bail.
Cirella is due back in court on May 3, the district attorney's office said.
“The grand jury undertook an extremely comprehensive and thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the untimely death of Julie Cirella,” said “After hearing from many witnesses and Ms. Cirella herself, the grand jury returned an indictment for murder in the second degree."
Last July, Cirella was initially charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of her daughter, who was found on the floor of their home on July 23, 2011.
But Veronica Cirella after her lawyer, , successfully argued that Nassau prosecutors did not indict her or present the case to a judge within the legal time limit. The legal maneuver earned Veronica her freedom on Sept. 7.
Prosecutors said Veronica poisoned the disabled girl by giving the girl peanut-laced food she was allergic to. Both Keahon and Veronica's legal aid attorney denied the charges. Keahon has said the results of the autopsy were inconclusive and no peanut product's were found in the victim's system.
The child's grandmother, Doloros Cirella, discovered Julie's body and Veronica alive nearby, a cord wrapped around Veronica's neck, and prosecutors said a suicide note of sorts was found. It read: “her daughter should die.”
Julie, who had cerebral palsy, was to be a flower girl in her cousin’s wedding on the day her body was found. At the the arrest, Nassau County Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said the girl’s wheelchair, decorated for the wedding, was found nearby.
"Every child’s death arouses strong emotions, but prosecutors must evaluate the evidence objectively, and regardless of how difficult the defendant perceived her circumstances to be, taking her daughter’s life was unjustified,” Rice said in a statement.
Last week, a reporter approached Cirella's Plainview home and called to the suspect. She waved innocently before being ushered into her house by the dead girls' grandmother, who declined to comment.