Woman Gets 22 Years for Beating Boyfriend to Death With Frying Pan

A suburban Chicago woman has pleaded guilty Thursday to beating her boyfriend to death with a frying pan in their northwest suburban apartment three years ago.

Nora P. Leach-Peterson, 37, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

Leach-Peterson killed Michael Mielczarek, while they were having an argument on Aug. 18, 2012, in the Elgin apartment they shared, a statement from prosecutors said.

During the fight, she struck Mielczarek in the head with a frying pan several times, prosecutors said. Neighbors heard the commotion and called police, who found Mielczarek unresponsive.

He later died at a hospital, and an autopsy found he died of blunt-force trauma to the head, authorities said.

“Had cooler heads prevailed, Michael Mielczarek likely would be alive today. But that is the nature of domestic violence,” State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “Emotion gets the better of someone and without intervention violence often ensues. Domestic violence is preventable, and prevention starts with awareness.”

Judge James Hallock accepted Thursday’s plea.

Leach-Peterson, most recently of the 100 block of South State Street in Elgin, will be required to serve the full 22-year sentence, prosecutors said, though she will be given credit for roughly two years spent in jail since her arrest.

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