Court documents are providing new details of the case against , the Plainview mother accused of second-degree murder in the July death of her 8-year-old daughter, according to various reports.
Those court papers offer a glimpse into the secret grand jury testimony that resulted in Cirella's indictment Wednesday. They also raise serious questions, and Cirella's lawyer has indicted the case against his 31-year-old client is weak and based on an inconclusive autopsy.
William Keahon blasted the decision to hold Cirella without bail, saying the autopsy found no evidence of peanuts in the child’s body. In fact, the autopsy contains no cause of death, Keahon said.
"I’ve never seen an indictment for murder, intentional murder, where the medical examiner cannot even give a causation of death, nor can he even say it’s a homicide. It’s bizarre,” Keahon told reporters, according to the Long Island Press.
Cirella was ordered held without bail on the new charges, that could result in a life sentence. She had originally been charged with manslaughter. Kehon managed to get those after the District Attorney's office could not prosecute the case in the required amount of time.
In court papers Cirella told police that, after discovering her child dead, the mother attempted suicide by taking injections of insulin and then drinking it along with a unspecified amount of painkillers, according to CBS News.
She then attempted to strangle herself with electrical cord, but failed. Dolores Cirella, who lives with Veronica, discovered the dead child and her stricken daughter-in-law in their Shelly Road home. Delores was checking on the child's whereabouts; she was to be a flower girl in a relative's wedding that July Saturday afternoon.
A suicide note, found in court documents, indicates Cirella admitted feeding M&Ms to her daughter the night before she died as a treat for her participation in the wedding the following day. The product contained peanuts, something the little girl was allergic to, various authorities said.
Upon reading the candy wrapper's label, and realizing the child had eaten a product containing peanuts, Cirella administered liquid Benadryl to counter the effects, according to an Associated Press report carried by the Long Island Press.
She said the two eventually went to sleep and she found the child dead early the following morning.
In the same suicide note, Cirella makes references to ongoing disputes with her estranged husband, Joseph, who had been arrested earlier that week on charges of violating an order of protection.
“Trust me things only would have gotten worse,” Cirella wrote. “I could not risk loosing (sic) my daughter. I could not risk her being mistreated if he killed me. No one could take care of her the way I could,” according to the Associated Press report.
Later in the note, she wrote of her disabled daughter, who was confined to a wheelchair with cerebal palsy:
“I had to give her a better life, which was to give her back to heaven. She does not deserve to be in pain whatsoever. I don’t mind going to hell because I took my life to give her a better life which is in heaven where she can be free.”
Outside the courthouse in Mineola Wednesday, Keahon, told reporters the statements were those of a distraught woman who believed she had accidentally killed her daughter.