Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baseball bat attacker of woman, child sentenced to 40 years behind bars

A man who beat his "girlfriend" and her son, leaving the woman's mother as her grandson's guardian and her daughter's caregiver was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday, December 3, in an Alachua County, FL courtroom. Daniel Steven Fucci, 46, was sentenced for the baseball bat attack on Debra Charlene Wyrosdick, 45, and her son Andrew, 7, leaving them both in a pool of blood.

Earlier, Fucci plead guilty to attempted murder, aggravated child abuse, and felony fleeing. He plead to , in his words, spare the child from having to testify in a jury trial. Fucci also atempted to justify his attack on the woman and her child, saying that "It was 50-50. She attacked me and I fought back," Fucci told Judge James Nilon. "We'd both been drinking a lot and arguing. I had no intention of hurting her - I was trying to get the knife away from her."

When an ambulance crew arrived, they reported finding Wyrosdick unconscious on the floor with Andrew on top of her and both appeared to be dying in the kitchen that was covered in blood.

Wyrosdick's mother, Ruby Wyrosdick, who is now Debra's caretaker and guardian of her son, testified that Debra received massive brain injuries and "still needs more therapy than we can afford. She will likely need assistance for the rest of her life."

Ruby Wyrosdick also said that her daughter remained in a coma until late 2008 and then spent about 10 months in an assisted living facility before moving in with Ruby. "Half of her head appears caved in," Ruby Wyrosdick said.

Fucci claimed that he still "loves" his victim, saying that "I would be her slave for life because I still love her," Fucci said. "I accidentally hit her in the head. It was self-defense. I was trying to stop her from coming at me with a knife." Judge Nilon said that the baseball bat injuries were too forceful to be self-defense, and that Fucci's behavior pattern was entrenched for 10 years, and he was "certainly old enough to have sought and received help for this pattern of behavior."

Among the other factors that Nilon said he considered before sentencing Fucci was a pre-sentence investigation showing that Fucci had a long history of violent behavior and statements from two of Fucci's sisters who asked for leniency.

The sisters told Nilon that Fucci had been physically, mentally and sexually abused by another of their brothers while they were growing up and that Fucci had a history of getting involved with damaged women who drew him into their dramas.

Psychologist Dr. Harry Krop testified that he had examined Fucci three times since the crimes and determined that Fucci abused alcohol, has a personality disorder with narcissistic and obsessive traits, had indicators of bipolar disorder and that there were apparent features of post traumatic stress disorder.

Because all inmates must serve at least 85% of their prison sentences, Fucci will serve at least 34 years and will be 80 when he gets out.

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