Former Wharton undergraduate Irina Malinovskaya was released from prison Friday after serving a sentence for manslaughter, according to John Painter, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Corrections.
Malinovskaya, 27, pleaded no contest to manslaughter in June 2008 for allegedly bludgeoning her ex-boyfriend Robert Bondar's then-girlfriend, Irina Zlotnikov, to death. Zlotnikov was found dead in Bondar's New Castle, Del., apartment in December 2004.
By pleading no-contest, Malinovskaya did not profess guilt, but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict her for the crime. She received a five-year sentence, with credit for time served.
Painter said Malinovskaya is now in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He added that she is expected to be deported because she is a Russian citizen. Her visa expired while she is in prison and she will not be able to renew it because she has a felony on her record.
Malinovskaya was released from Baylor Women's Correctional Institution, where she had resided from the time of her arrest.
Her release brings an end to a long legal battle.
She was tried three times for Zlotnikov's death, with each trial ending with a hung jury. The most-recent trial ended in November 2007.
Her first trial, which ended in February 2006, resulted in an 11-1 hung jury in favor of acquittal. In October of the same year, the second trial ended in a 6-6 deadlock.
The third trial ended in November 2007 after 11 days of deliberations, and resulted in a 10-2 decision in favor of conviction of second-degree murder and 8-4 for first-degree murder.
Prosecutors never definitively said they would try Malinovskaya's case a fourth time, but a third retrial would have been an unusual occurrence.
The prosecution in the cases tried to portray Malinovskaya as obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Bondar, then a Temple University student, while the defense stressed a lack of physical evidence connecting her to the crime.
Eugene Maurer, Malinovskaya's lawyer, told The News Journal, the newspaper in Wilmington, Del., that Malinovskaya feels "like a part of my life" because the case persisted for such a long time.
Maurer also told the publication it is "pretty good" that someone who was originally charged with first-degree murder is being released after only five years.
If she had been convicted on the murder charges, she could have faced life in prison. Malinovskaya eventually took a plea bargain for the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Paul Wallace, a prosecutor on Malinovskaya's case, refused to comment on her situation because she was in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Staff writer Harrison Garfinkle contributed to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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