Petition made to keep man who allegedly beat Milford woman from getting plea deal

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A Milford woman with multiple sclerosis fought for her life during a brutal attack earlier this year, and now she is in another fight -- this time for justice.

Lori Wierzbicki's attacker remains in custody and is awaiting sentencing.

She recently learned he's accepted a plea deal, which means he could get out soon -- something she says no one from the State's Attorney's Office ever ran by her.

Wierzbicki says she lives with the terror of what her neighbor, Russell Molleur, did to her in March. She says for half an hour, Molleur beat and strangled her inside of her own home.

Molleur was arrested and remains in jail, where Wierzbicki thought he'd stay. But she was stunned to learn he'd recently taken a plea deal that drops or reduces nearly all of his charges, and comes with a maximum sentence of two years.

Molleur could also walk out of court a free man the day of sentencing.

"I wasn't consulted, I wasn't asked to come in," said Wierzbicki. "It's just like living it all over again."

Tim McLaughlin is Wierzbicki's brother. McLaughlin says he is outraged by the leniency of the court system.

"I was trusting the court system to do their job," said McLaughlin. "I immediately started a Facebook page and then shortly thereafter, I started an online petition to have the plea deal thrown out."

So far, the petition has more than 12,000 signatures and has led to a Justice for Lori rally planned for Dec. 14 on the Milford Green.

McLaughlin says he wants Molleur to serve more time. But beyond that, he hopes his sister's case gets on lawmakers' radars and leads to change for victims in the court system.

News 12 reached out to the Milford State's Attorney's Office for more information about how this plea deal occurred, but officials would not comment on pending cases.

Molleur is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8, 2020.

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