PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — It was an unexpected sentence in court for the man who choked a 75-year-old woman with a metal dog leash. A judge handing down Emanuel Qosaj a 20-year prison sentence for other battery-related charges.
It was a drawn-out day in court as both sides attempted to sway the judge to their version of a fair sentence.
Back in June, jurors found Qosaj not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity but they did find him guilty on several other battery-related charges including aggravated battery on a person 65 or older, battery on emergency medical care provider, simple battery and resisting arrest.
The judge handed down the court's punishment.
Relief and justice for Linda Konior more than a year after her brutal attack.
“It’s over, we have closure, he’s getting what he deserves," she said.
Qosaj was solemn and still as he heard directly from his victim.
“There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t re-live this," said Konior to the court during her victim impact statement. "I was sitting back there and I could feel his body on top of me and I could hear him saying ‘I’m going to kill you' over and over.”
Konior was walking her dog when a stranger came up behind her unprovoked and choked her with a metal dog leash. Part of the April 2017 attack was captured on video as neighbors attempted to help. Finally, deputies arrived and lifted Qosaj off her.
In court, Qosaj gave a less than a minute long apology to his victim, his family and the judge. He also pled to be sent to a state hospital.
“I first want to apologize to Ms. Linda and her family. My mind was not right, my mind has not been right for months," said Qosaj.
While found not guilty for attempted murder, Qosaj was still on the hook for several battery charges. The state spent hours casting doubt on his mental illness defense. Meanwhile, the defense brought Qosaj’s sister to the stand and she described a family history of mental issues.
The judge ultimately decided it would be prison not state hospital for Qosaj on the battery charges. Calling the attack "brutal" and saying Qosaj knew what he was doing was wrong. He added that the antipsychotic medication appeared to be working and he saw no reason why Qosaj would be a danger to others or himself in prison.
Immediately following the sentence, Qosaj's sister and mother wailed in court. Most of the family crying as they left the room. Qosaj still and solemn once more after hearing he’ll spend two decades in prison.
Konoir says she doesn’t think her attacker was honestly sorry, but now she’s focused on moving on. Qosaj, meanwhile, still has 30 days to appeal.