Shaler woman gets 180 days house arrest for brawl at her 2008 wedding

| Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's been more worse than better for the Wielechowskis since they exchanged wedding vows a year ago.

"This whole thing is ridiculous and I'm sorry," Christa Wielechowski, 26, told a judge Tuesday during a hearing on a wedding night brawl in a Ross hotel.

"I was in jail in my wedding gown after being beaten and humiliated. I'm all over the world in the news. I think that is punishment enough."

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge John A. Zottola apparently didn't think so. He sentenced her to 180 days of house arrest and fined her $600 for her no-contest pleas to six summary charges of harassment and criminal mischief.

Wielechowski and her husband, Dr. David Wielechowski, 33, were accused of fighting with others at the Holiday Inn on McKnight Road following their wedding reception April 27, 2008.

David Wielechowski was permitted yesterday to enter the county's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program � a probationary program for first-time offenders whose records can be expunged upon completion. As part of the deal, Wielechowski, a dentist, will perform free dental work for underprivileged children.

The Shaler couple were minutes away from starting a jury trial when they decided to take a deal offered by the prosecution that dropped more serious charges.

"You don't engage in that kind of conduct in your wedding dress unless alcohol is involved," Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka said. "With Dr. Wielechowski performing the free dental work, at least some good will come of this."

Michael Worgul, Christa Wielechowski's attorney, said she maintains her innocence.

"This has been a very emotionally taxing case for both Mr. and Mrs. Wielechowski," Worgul said. "Her face was plastered all over the media on several different continents. I can understand where she was coming from."

Police say the couple fought with people who attended another wedding at the Holiday Inn. A witness told police she saw David Wielechowski kick his bride in the midsection and offered to help the woman.

Police said David Wielechowski shoved the woman away, prompting that woman's son to restrain David Wielechowski, which escalated into a brawl after police said Christa Wielechowski punched the man who was restraining her husband.

The couple were ordered to pay an unspecified amount of money to the hotel to cover the damage.

Robert Mielnicki, David Wielechowski's attorney, said the ARD will allow his client to continue practicing dentistry.

"Yes, they are still married," Mielnicki said. "They live together. They drove in together.

"I think the sentence his wife received has caused him severe depression."

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