Friday, September 22, 2017 Elyria 66°

Cops and Courts

Elyria woman who falsely claimed she was stabbed pleads no contest


ELYRIA — An Elyria woman who falsely claimed she had been stabbed by a stranger in her Longfellow Street home, touching off a police manhunt for a nonexistent suspect, pleaded no contest Wednesday to disorderly conduct.

Prosecutors dropped additional charges of making false alarms and falsification against 55-year-old Mary Joanne Palange as part of her plea agreement, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.

Elyria City Prosecutor Matt Mishak said that Palange was suffering from mental illness when she claimed she was attacked in her garage by a person she described as a dark-skinned male. She was taken to the hospital to be treated for chest and arm injuries.

Police later determined that Palange made up the story.

Mishak said Palange has been receiving mental counseling and will continue to do so. She was fined $150 in the case, but $75 of the fine was suspended.

Jim Skelton, Palange’s defense attorney, said he believes justice was served.

“My client took responsibility,” he said. “She made a mistake, but she’s got things in order now.”

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