Archive for Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lawrence mother gets 3 years of probation for manslaughter in death of her 5-year-old

December 20, 2012


A 25-year-old Lawrence woman has been sentenced to three years of probation after being found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the death of her 5-year-old child in April.

Rebecca Lynn Wynne was sentenced Thursday in Douglas County District Court after pleading no contest in November to a charge of reckless involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated child endangerment. Wynne’s child died after ingesting opiates found in a purple plastic Easter egg on April 27 at the home of Wynne’s parents in the 1500 block of Delaware Street, according to prosecutors.

The charges of child endangerment involved Wynne's remaining two children, ages 6 and 4, who have been in protective custody since the April incident. All three of the children were playing with morphine and Oxycontin pills that Wynne obtained the day before one of them was found dead.

At sentencing, a state-licensed social worker testified that Wynne had demonstrated good behavior in supervised visits with her remaining children. The social worker said Wynne has been required to complete drug and alcohol treatment programs and would work to regain custody of those children in the future.

Judge Paula Martin said Wynne posed no danger to the community and had shown a dedication to rehabilitating herself.


BlueWaffle 5 years, 4 months ago

Sadly if they charged her with posession she would of done time and had the book thrown at her.

engagedecoy 5 years, 4 months ago

Worthless system. Another fine example of why there is such tragedies in this world. This is just ridiculous.

squird 5 years, 4 months ago

System works in many ways, but when you need it to work the most , its utter failure!!! So someone who gets a couple of DUI's(granted they could kill someone) get felony prison time, and someone who had their prescription drugs laying around(probably weren't even prescribed) and their little 5 yr dies gets probabtion? What a joke. What ever happened to protecting our children. This family is obviously irresponsible when they put meds in an Easter egg. Couldn't agree more with BlueWaffle and Kansas Liberal!

JUSME 5 years, 4 months ago

probation.........children playing with pills NOT PRESCRIBED and they were in a PLASTIC EASTER EGG!!!! YOU ARE RIGHT .........NEED WE SAY MORE!!!!! I think the Judge found the Easter Egg in the evidence room and consumed a few of the PLAY EGGS inside.

JUSME 5 years, 4 months ago

It will be interesting to see the end results of the fraternity that killed the turkey. I just want to see how Lady Justice and Paula Martin weighs a TURKEY and a CHILD!!!

JaneQPublic 5 years, 4 months ago

It sounds like a sad case of a young woman who may have an addiction issue, and may well be a loving and kind mother who will have to live the rest of her life with this horrible tragedy on her. This judge might have been thinking of the other two children and determined that this young mother just got the most devastating wake-up call of her life, and should get the chance to change her life for their welfare.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 4 months ago

Its called sentencing guidelines. the judge can't depart from them without a reason to. additionally, the mother can still have her parental rights severed because of this. simple felony will not draw a prison sentence unless your criminal history is bad or a special rule applies, like committed while on felony bond.

It is a terrible tragedy.

Phoghorn 5 years, 4 months ago

Does posting facts and pertinent information violate the usage agreement? I am curious because I rarely see well-thought out comments like this one on here.

Kat Christian 5 years, 4 months ago

You know I hear a whole lot of ignorance here. Not one of you knew Rebecca as a person or her children. Shame on you for passing judgment - ye who live in a glass house. I t was a terrible accident anyway you look at it, even if the pills were illegal. She loves her children and is a good mother in spite of this and is devastated over the loss of her child. I am thankful she only received probation, because it would serve no one, especially her other two children (who love her early) if she went to prison for a long time. Justice was served here. Now it will be up to her to put her life back together so she can move on from this tragedy and I wish her the best.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

"You know I hear a whole lot of ignorance here...Shame on you for passing judgment"


Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

She's guilty. The probation isn't the punishment, it's to keep an eye on her. A life of remembering the child that died because of her actions is sentence enough and far harsher than anything courts could impose.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree with you, Liberty. Well put.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

Ask yourself how you would feel if you used poor judgement and as a result of that poor judgement, your child died. A few nights of sleep? That's all you would lose?

I have a dog that's been ill for a month and we are having him put down in January. I am constantly tortured by that. My dog, that has outlived his breed's average by 3 years, is going to die on the day and by the method I consider most humane and I feel more pain than you would about causing the death of your own child.

Please take back what you said. I know you are not that callous.

Ian_Cummings 5 years, 4 months ago

The judge could have imposed a prison sentence of 32 months. In the sentencing guidelines, this situation fell into a zone that could have gone either way. The judge heard evidence of the defendant's efforts toward rehabilitation, and the prosecution, as part of the plea agreement, did not argue for a prison sentence.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 4 months ago

illegal drugs ... stored in a candy easter egg (tempting to little children).

these were not the actions of a loving and caring mother. allowing herself to become addicted when she had three lives dependent on her, is not the choice ofa loving and caring mother.

which is worse? 1. a stranger shoots a child visciously, totally out of the blue, as a result of his mental illness. 2. a child from his or her first day is dependent on the mother for food, care and safety, but the mother leaves a deadly poison in child's reach in an attractive container and child dies. the deadly poison was present merely to gratify mother's own pleasure.


rwwilly 5 years, 4 months ago

Do you know what percentage of addicts will be "cured" after their first arrest? This woman is an addict who has two children remaining. The judge erred badly. This woman is not an adequate mother by any measure. Expect much worse from this woman in the future and hold the judge responsible.

Ian_Cummings 5 years, 4 months ago

No - no one suggested the drugs belonged to the grandparents. Their home was just the location where Wynne and the children were staying at the time.

love_jaack 5 years, 4 months ago

I dont think she should be faulted for having an addiction everyone does (caffeine, cigarettes, facebook, shopping or otherwise it's still an addiction) however I do believe she is at fault for her child's death and the fact that she's getting probation and a slap on the wrist is sickening I lost all rights to 2 of my 5 children because I had a drug addiction (which I successfully completed inpatient rehab for) and didn't have my own home (was not eligible for emergency housing because I have 2 misdemeanor paraphernalia charges) the judge did not consider the effect on their siblings or them (one of my daughter's has PTSD from the shock of the separation ) and my case worker even told me I was a good mother but I was homeless and an addict so reintegrateion wouldn't be possible. It's sad that despite the fact that My kids never even saw me get high let alone had a chance to do them, never had any injuries that even required an ER visit due to lack of supervision and are very much loved and missed they'll never see there siblings or family again and this woman gets another chance . The lesson this shows is 2 misdemeanor paraphernalia charges + in need of housing = no kids and 2 months in jail and 2 opiates in dead child's system + a house + addiction = probation and kids of housing + addiction = no kids

intheknow 5 years, 4 months ago

Judge Martin is just following the pattern we have seen for years...the younger the child, the less the punishment. So sad. A life lost = Probation??

"A person's a person, no matter how small." - Dr. Seuss

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

She has many years ahead to make multiple replacements. Ten more children, each with a different last name. We can then build a small SRS sub-station in her living room to provide the services and supervision she and her family will need.

Or maybe she really does feel terrible about this whole incident. Maybe the shock has caused her to re-evaluate her lifestyle, change her behaviors. Maybe she no longer uses drugs and will become a good mother and a productive member of society.

I hope the latter is true, but fear it's the former.

ranger7272 5 years, 4 months ago


Amy Heeter 5 years, 4 months ago

I do not know the mother in this situation nor any family members. I only know what was published here in Ljw. I do believe the DA is lax at best a failure at worst. I don't believe Judge Martin is the problem here. She can only follow the guidelines afforded her. The real problem is at a legislative level. Also the DA should have, could have added charges such as possession, neglect, failure to supervise, medical neglect.....,but he didn't. As far as punishment,vwell i can't imagine any worse than losing a child,having to look my own parents in eye for the duration or having to explain to others why and how such a horrific event happened. Natural consequences will prevail in miss wynnes life. Additionally there are two other children that she may well lose as a result of her poor choices. The situation is tragic, but not reversible.

greenworld 5 years, 4 months ago

3 months probation for the death of her child???. I believe you get 1-3 months probation for urinating in public. I think she should not have the right to see her kids grow up until they are 18 years old and can identify that their mother made a very bad decision and is a worthless POS. No rest for the wicked. The bible says an eye for an eye. So where does she pay back her wrongdoing and spend time to think about it behind bars. BTW- Where is the father is all this?? LEt me guess either not around, locked up or in rehab himself. Paula Martin has always went the other way on everything. Years ago a girl was raped and there wasnt adequent evidence so she dropped all the charges if i remember right. I cant remember all the details but I think it was a minor that had sex and the guy was a BF and the parents didnt like it and tried to pursue charges.

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