By Associated Press - Friday, February 14, 2020

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who severely beat and nearly killed his disabled neighbor has been sentenced to serve four years in prison, about double the original sentence offered by the state in a plea deal, but which the victim said was too lenient.

Russell Molleur, 57, of Milford, was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison, with four to serve and five years of probation. according to Hearst Connecticut Media.

Molleur was sentenced by a judge who last month tossed a plea in which Molleur would have spent just two years behind bars with three years of probation.

Lori Wierzbicki, 50, who has multiple sclerosis and walks with a cane, was strangled and beaten unconscious, during an attack last March that police called “life threatening.”

Wierzbicki has said she and Molleur were casual acquaintances and neighbors in a complex for the elderly and disabled in Milford. She said he attacked her for no apparent reason.

Molleur’s attorney, public defender Susan Brown, called the sentence appropriate.

She said Molleur has an intellectual disability for which he’s received Social Security benefits for more than 30 years and started drinking heavily five years ago when his mother died. She said Molleur is remorseful.

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