Lisa Ann Casella, the 16-year-old Adelphi girl who was sentenced to life imprisonment with all but 14 years suspended after pleading guilty in November to conspiring to kill her parents, is getting an education while incarcerated, according to her attorney, Joseph Vallario.
Casella, sentenced as an adult in the incident in which her father, Emilio, 45, was stabbed to death at the family home in May 1983, is at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women at Jessup.
She has earned her high school equivalency degree and is enrolled in courses under the University of Maryland's extension program, Vallario said.
At her sentencing, Vallario argued that she should not be sent to the adult correctional facility because of her age. He had petitioned to have her sent to the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, where she could receive counseling. That facility is all male, and the judge refused the request.
The state is completing plans to construct a Patuxent Institution for women, and Vallario said that "once the project is complete, I'll request that she be sent there."
Casella's 15-year-old boyfriend, Daniel Eric Reedy, and a friend, Fred Alan Mozingo, who was 19 at the time of the stabbing, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of Emilio Casella and are under psychological evaluation at Patuxent. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with all but 15 years suspended for Reedy and all but 35 years suspended for Mozingo.
Joseph Sauerwein, who prosecuted the case, said the three youths plotted for several weeks to kill Casella's parents because the parents did not approve of the relationship she had with Reedy.
Vallario said a motion to reduce Casella's sentence is pending in Circuit Court. "I'm hoping the judge Vincent Femia will recognize her progress and reduce the sentence," he said.