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COURT Quiet and composed, Costanzo pleads guilty to weapons charges



Published: Tue, August 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police found a loaded gun tucked in front of her pants.

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- In sharp contrast to her appearance in federal court in Akron earlier this month, suspended Warren attorney Maridee L. Costanzo was composed and quiet Monday, pleading guilty to weapons charges.

Costanzo pleaded in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to carrying a concealed weapon, obstruction of justice and evidence tampering.

A visiting judge, Joseph Kainrad of Portage County, sentenced her to a three-year prison term to run concurrently with her eight-year federal sentence.

Costanzo's attorney, Thomas Zena of Youngstown, said his client had suffered with "bouts of mental illness" in the past but that at this time she had no "physical or mental" disability that would stop her from entering into the plea agreement.

Asked whether she wished to make a statement before sentencing, the usually outspoken Costanzo simply said, "No, sir." She likewise gave "Yes, sir" answers to all of the other questions put to her by the judge.

No shackles

She was dressed in prison garb but had no shackles on her legs, unlike at her sentencing in Akron.

Costanzo has been sentenced to prison by a federal judge for trying to have her estranged husband, Warren attorney Roger Bauer, killed.

She spoke at length in the federal courthouse about practicing law, and having to support several judges' financial campaigns, "act in a certain way, do this, do that."

Costanzo, 47, has been in custody in an Akron-area jail since her arrest in April on the federal charge.

The Trumbull County charges stem from a March traffic stop, when Costanzo was a passenger in a car driven by William D. Cindea, 56, of Warren. Police found a loaded gun tucked in the front of Costanzo's pants, reports state.

Cindea has pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a weapon. He will be sentenced in September.




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