City woman sentenced

WESTFIELD – A city woman has been sentenced, but does not face additional jail time, after she pleaded guilty in a case involving the death of her husband at her hand.
Although charged with manslaughter in Aug. 2011, Karen M. Brettman, 52, of 10 Heggie Drive, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person with serious bodily injury when she appeared before Associate Justice Bertha Josephson in Hampden Superior Court Wednesday.
Josephson accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Brettman to a two and a half year term in the house of correction with credit for time served and the balance suspended. Brettman was placed on probation for two years, ordered to remain alcohol and drug free and to be subject to random testing.
The charge stems from a March 16, 2011, domestic disturbance.
Officer John Blascak responded to the call at 10:53 and reports that Brettman said that her husband, John Brettman, 64, “made her so mad she pushed him” and also said that her husband had punched her.
Brettman’s push caused her husband, who was reportedly intoxicated, to fall to the floor where he struck his head.
Court documents state that John Brettman was a severe alcoholic and that “At all times the defendant alleges she acted in self defense.”
John Brettman had been transported to Noble Hospital before Blascak spoke with his wife but, when Blascak spoke with the man at the hospital, the victim said not only that his wife had caused his fall but also denied striking her.
Brettman was transferred to Baystate Medial Center and thence to Westfield Care and Rehabilitation Center where he died April 14, 2011.
Because John Brettman had other medical issues, his wife was not charged until an autopsy found that he “Succumbed to his injuries and complications of a subdural hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the head.”
Brettman was arrested Aug. 19, 2011, and charged with manslaughter.
Initially held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $100,000 surety, Brettman was later released on her own recognizance with several conditions.
She was subjected to electronic monitoring and allowed to leave her home on weekdays from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. to go to her job.
She was also allowed to leave her home for legal and medical appointments, as well as religious services.
However, that situation only lasted until October when her bail was revoked and she was held in custody until the case was adjudicated Wednesday.

To Top