WILKES-BARRE — An 82-year-old grandmother in Luzerne County was taken away from the county courthouse in handcuffs Thursday afternoon and will start serving a five and a half to 12 year prison sentence immediately.
Helen Galli was given that punishment for trying to poison a woman nearly four years ago.
Galli was led out of the Luzerne county courthouse in handcuffs after a judge sentenced her to five ½ to 12 years in a state prison.
Galli had been free on bail until the sentencing.
Galli was found guilty in October for trying to poison her son Victor`s then-girlfriend Dawn Simyan back in March of 2011.
Prosecutors said Galli put anti-freeze in Simyan’s glass of juice because Galli thought Simyan was after Victor’s gas lease money.
At Simyan`s home in Pittston, she said she`s happy to have this all over.
“Yes for me it`s the end, a new beginning, I didn`t think this day would come, it was almost four years, I`m glad it did, I`m just very glad,” said Simyan.
Galli was also ordered to pay Simyan $70,000 in restitution, mostly for medical costs related to Simyan`s injuries from drinking anti-freeze.
“My health was bad for a while, I missed a lot of work, I almost lost my house, and I didn`t work for months,” said Simyan.
This isnt Galli`s first run-in with law.
Back in 1990, Galli pleaded guilty to arson and other charges for convincing her grandchildren to set fire to their parents’ house.
For that crime, she was sentenced to four years home confinement and 10 years of probation.
“She didn`t want anyone near her kids period and she would have did whatever,” said Simyan, “and you know there`s little grand kids in there, and they`re going to be teenagers soon and what if she didn`t like one of their girlfriends or boyfriends, she`s where she belongs.”
In court the judge also gave Galli probation for stealing $23 worth of meat from a grocery store in May of 2010.