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Valley News Dispatch

Trio pleads guilty to restraining and beating Arnold woman

Rich Cholodofsky
| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, 4:24 p.m.
Michael Battaglia, Devon Hamilton and Stephanie Unruh
Westmoreland County Prison
Michael Battaglia, Devon Hamilton and Stephanie Unruh

A man and two women pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges they tied up and repeatedly beat an Arnold woman in the basement of her home in September.

Michael Battaglia, 41, of Arnold; Stephanie Marie Unruh, 30, of New Kensington; and Devon Hamilton, 25, of Mt. Pleasant, each pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint and simple assault.

Westmoreland County prosecutors dismissed more serious felony charges of aggravated assault and kidnapping as part of the plea bargains agreed to as jury selection in their trials was set to begin.

“We dropped those charges so she (the victim) would not have to testify at trial and to not put her through the trauma of a trial,” said Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Calisti.

Police said Battaglia and the two women barged into the home of 21-year-old Angelica Mangol on Sept. 10, forced her into her basement, removed her clothes, tied her up, punched her in the head and face, beat her with a broom handle and burned her with cigarettes.

Investigators said Mangol escaped once but was again restrained by her attackers and left tied up in the basement for hours.

In an interview days after the assault , Mangol claimed Battaglia, with whom she lived for three weeks before the attack, initially was there with two women she said she did not know, to help her deal with heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Battaglia became enraged when one of the woman claimed Mangol was not taking adequate care of her children, she said.

Battaglia, who Calisti confirmed was Mangol's boyfriend at the time of the attack, was sentenced Wednesday by Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway to serve nearly one to two years in the county jail.

Hamilton was ordered to serve 11 to 23 months in jail. Unruh was sentenced to serve two years on probation, including 12 months of house arrest.

Mangol also appeared in court Wednesday for a parole revocation hearing after she was accused of walking out of an inpatient drug treatment program in January. Mangol was ordered to serve up to a year in jail after she pleaded guilty in March to a single count of prostitution. She was paroled after serving 10 days. She was reincarcerated in November on a parole revocation but was later released to a treatment program.

Hathaway on Wednesday ordered that she remain in jail until she is admitted to another drug treatment program.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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