GLOUCESTER COUNTY, NJ (WTXF) - A New Jersey woman has pled guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the 2012 death of her husband’s 88-year-old grandmother.
Anna Castagna entered the plea just a day before jury selection was to begin for the case’s trial.
In a negotiated plea, Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Joseph Brook will recommend a sentence of 25 years in New Jersey state prison for Castagna, according to a press release.
A condition for the plea includes that Castagna will not be eligible for parole until she serves 85 percent of the sentence, or 21 years, three months, and one day.
The first-degree aggravated manslaughter charged to which she pleaded was amended from the original first-degree murder charge.
The plea was accepted by Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson after receiving approval from the court district’s assignment judge and presiding criminal court judge, in light of the imminent trial date and due to the normal time to enter a guilty plea having passed.
Castagna’s bail was revoked pending sentencing and she has remained in jail in default of $250,000 bail since she was arrested on August 23, 2012.
Castagna was questioned by her attorney and acknowledged that she visited Mary Groatman, her husband’s grandmother, on August 19, 2012. She visited her at the Deptford Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care, where Groatman was a patient.
Others told investigators they saw Castagna there that day.
Hours after the visit, Groatman fell into a coma and died after removal from life support.