New York Mom Killed Her Daughter for Being ‘Rude’
WHITE PLAINS - Stacey Pagli told police she strangled her daughter Marissa with her bare hands when "she pissed me off for the last time," according to interview transcripts released Thursday.
The attack, followed by her failed suicide, came the day after her husband berated her and said "things you don't say to your wife if you love her," Pagli told police.
The court documents - released Thursday as she was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the Feb. 22 slaying at Manhattanville College - include Stacey Pagli's admission that she "snapped" after her daughter mouthed off at her, choking the freshman on the bedroom floor as she was preparing for class.
"I couldn't take it anymore," she told police, later adding, "She couldn't talk to me like that."
She also said she had taken an antidepressant the morning of the killing and referred to herself as "worthless."
"I wanted both of us to die," said the 38-year-old, whose troubled family history includes the suicides of her father and brother.
In the days following her daughter's death, Pagli is alleged to have told investigators that she left her husband a note "to relieve John of all the stress that the baggage has brought him."
The indictment alleges Stacey Pagli returned home after dropping off her 3-year-old daughter, Gianna, at day care, entered the family's campus apartment and almost immediately began arguing with Marissa.
She strangled the 18-year-old about 9 a.m., then attempted to kill herself by cutting her left wrist and then hanging herself with a belt on a doorknob, the Westchester District Attorney's Office said. Pagli's husband, John, a college maintenance supervisor, returned home shortly after noon to find his wife unconscious and his daughter lifeless in her bedroom in their second-floor apartment.
Stacey Pagli, who will be arraigned next week, called Marissa "disrespectful" and "rude," and said she and her daughter argued "every day, just like every other day."
On Feb. 22, the day Marissa was killed, Pagli told her daughter, "This will be the last time you speak to me like that," according to her statement.
Pagli, who worked locally as an office administrator, remains on suicide watch in the Westchester County jail.
She was interviewed twice Feb. 23 at White Plains Hospital Center by Harrison Detective Michael Walther. She told him that the night before the killing she fought with her husband, according to the statements.
Pagli said that after returning from day care that morning, she walked the family dogs
Pagli told Walther that she had taken Wellbutrin, an FDA-approved smoking cessation drug commonly used as an antidepressant, that morning.
Pagli and her daughter soon got into an argument, the statements said.
"I asked her if she had any misunderstandings with Marissa yesterday," Walther wrote. "She said just her attitude. She's disrespectful all of the time, just to me. She's a different person to everybody else." Asked if she and her daughter had fought in the past, Pagli told Walther, "not really, a couple of little shoves, nothing major like this one," the statements said. "She pushed my last button."
Pagli said she entered her daughter's room during the argument after Marissa "said something" unspecified, and the two women got into a physical confrontation that ended with mother and daughter on the floor.
"I had my arms around her neck," Pagli is alleged to have said. "She was lying on her stomach at some point, she was also on her back. I was on top of her. ... Marissa was flailing her arms.
According to the statements, Pagli then made her failed suicide attempt and left a note for her husband, John.
After the killing, she picked up her daughter and placed her in bed next to a stuffed bear. Asked why, she said, " 'Cause I love Marissa."
She spoke about her troubled relationship with her daughter, saying they "were always angry with each other," and that Marissa routinely called her a bad mother and that she "hated me."
"I just couldn't live with it anymore," Pagli is alleged to have said.
But she expressed regret over the killing, saying, "I didn't mean" to hurt Marissa, but that "all my anger just piled up."
After her arrest, Stacey Pagli attempted to kill herself again in jail by tying socks around her neck.