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.


tange 1 year, 3 months ago

When I first encountered some of the apparently male-proffered comments above (and in a similar story running at about the same time.)..

"[Judge Paula Martin...] We need to say 'no more' - vote her out!"

"Save your rant for someone who gives a rats rear about precious mommy."

"Would someone who has a law degree, who has a pair, and is tough on crime please oppose this buffoon next election?"
"They don't even need a pair...just one will be a 100% increase...haha"
"True that!"

"Why... because I don't spend as much time trying to be cutsie as you do?"

... it just looked like the same old misogyny from the same old increasingly impotent men taking their last swipes at a world evolving beyond them.

Interestingly, at about the same time, the flu had me catching up on some "L" movies. How did I get through the better part of a century without experiencing Les Misérables? (Yeah, yeah, if I were more up on my French, I'd have recognized it to be an "M" movie; anyway...) What struck me was how closely that culturally dark period mirrors our own, especially as depicted in the views of the punitive, venom-spewing "men" who routinely foul these pages. Scenes involving interactions between Valjean, Fantine, and Javert (Neeson, Thurman, and Rush) are particularly revealing.

While it's clear that, like Javert, our forum manly men each have a pair, they might consider taking in this 1998 gem this holiday season, if for no other reason than to catch a glimpse of the shoulders that accompany an evolved pair.

Oh, and BTW, circumstance had Paula and me crossing paths decades ago, before her Judgeship. She's a lovely and compassionate person worthy of her position.


greenworld 1 year, 3 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.


Amy Heeter 1 year, 3 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.


tange 1 year, 3 months ago

For cheeseburger...

This woman had three children—4, 5, and 6 years old.
So, she had fifteen combined years with them, and they with her.
And not just fifteen combined years, but many, many more interactive years between and among them.

THEY just lost the center.

IF there is ANY reason to preserve this FAMILY unit, then doing so IS the priority.

There are good reasons for isolating components of systems (e.g.) to glean fundamental insight or even to determine culpability. Humans and families, however, are not isolated systems. This is why you find me continually railing against limited spheres of consciousness.

You do the math.



HarmonKillabrew 1 year, 3 months ago

Glad our weak DA let her plea! Add this one to a long list of weakness on our DA's part. No possession charge! PROBATION? Are you kidding. If 32 months was the max she could have received why didn't she serve at least part of this? I think it is so our esteemed DA could add another "conviction" to his numbers and continue to feel good about himself. You know where a great place to sober up and a face the reality of the fact that drugs cost your child its life....JAIL! A sobering experience!


ranger7272 1 year, 3 months ago



jhawkinsf 1 year, 3 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.


cheeseburger 1 year, 3 months ago

9 years incarceration for a bank robber.

3 years probation for a child killer.

Not condoning bank robbery, but please tell me how this makes any sense at all.


intheknow 1 year, 3 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


love_jaack 1 year, 3 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


Ian_Cummings 1 year, 3 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.


none2 1 year, 3 months ago

The story states:

"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."

Is there some kind of mistake? That almost makes it sound like it is the grandparents who had the illegal drugs. Is that what they are trying to state?


rwwilly 1 year, 3 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.


bearded_gnome 1 year, 3 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.



MacHeath 1 year, 3 months ago

Good thing she didn't have more than an ounce of pot on her.


Ian_Cummings 1 year, 3 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.


Liberty275 1 year, 3 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.


Kat Christian 1 year, 3 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.


cheeseburger 1 year, 3 months ago

She sure posed a threat to that young boy whose life was cut short.

Pitiful, pitiful. Who speaks for the dead? Apparently not the courts.


oldbaldguy 1 year, 3 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.


JaneQPublic 1 year, 3 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.


JUSME 1 year, 3 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!!!


Karl_Hungus 1 year, 3 months ago

"Never go full retard, one must. Beyong help, this lady and the system are. Stupefied, I am stupefied. Yeesssssss."


JUSME 1 year, 3 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.


Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 3 months ago

Judge Paula Martin....

...Need we say more...


tange 1 year, 3 months ago

Tragedy predates (legal) systems, worthless and worthwhile.

My heart goes out to a mother of three, less one.


squird 1 year, 3 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!


engagedecoy 1 year, 3 months ago

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


BlueWaffle 1 year, 3 months ago

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


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