Archive for Friday, July 27, 2012

Mother charged in child’s death

July 27, 2012, 12:04 a.m. Updated July 27, 2012, 8:25 a.m.


Douglas County prosecutors have charged a 25-year-old Lawrence woman with manslaughter in connection with the death of her 5-year-old child three months ago.

Rebecca Lynn Wynne

Rebecca Lynn Wynne

The child had ingested opiates before its death, said District Attorney Charles Branson.

Rebecca Lynn Wynne is charged with reckless involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated child endangerment of two other children, ages 6 and 4. All three are Wynne’s children.

In a written statement, the district attorney said autopsy reports indicated the 5-year-old died after ingesting opiates during the evening of April 27. Branson said the alleged incident occurred at Wynne’s residence in the 1500 block of Delaware Street.

According to jail records, Wynne was arrested Wednesday afternoon at her home.

And Thursday afternoon, she appeared before pro-tem Judge James George, who set her bond at $25,000 with the condition that she not have contact with the children, who are in protective custody. He appointed defense attorney J.C. Gilroy to represent her.

Lawrence police detectives and coroner Dr. Erik Mitchell investigated the case, according to the court records. Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman, referred questions Thursday morning to Branson’s office.

Wynne’s mother, Teresa Wynne, said Thursday morning she could not comment about specifics of the case, but she defended her daughter.

“Rebecca would never hurt her kids, ever,” she said.

Wynne is next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 2.

— Reporter George Diepenbrock can be reached at 832-7144. Follow him at

—Reporter Andy Hyland contributed to this story.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a gender for one of the victims in the case. Prosecutors have not revealed the genders of any of the victims.


cheeseburger 5 years, 11 months ago

Could you reporters at least get the gender of the late victim correct?

Rich Noever 5 years, 11 months ago

What's the deal? I thought the victum was a boy. Did the LJW get it wrong?

Lawrenceks 5 years, 11 months ago

You have to remember, this is the LJWorld, you are lucky they even printed their names!

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 11 months ago

Mug shot,name in the paper. I thought LJW didn't release those until after a conviction.

asixbury 5 years, 11 months ago

Because if someon is accused of that type of horrendous crime, their reputation will be permanently scarred despite the fact they are not guilty.

Brian Conrad 5 years, 11 months ago

she will do time for the rest of her life. the worst time of all . the lose of a child! This was an accident. people were on here taking up for the expungement of the Murder charge and wanted assisted sucuide for shooting Davis in the head. here you want vengence for an accident . hope you cheeseburger never look away for a second and run over someone . she should not do one day! PERIOD

Rich Noever 5 years, 11 months ago

Perses, Look up the word "typo", oh that's right, you don't care about facts.

jaycat 5 years, 11 months ago

Hidden in the home as part of a game! who plays a game like that with children? wtf

ahyland 5 years, 11 months ago


That one was my fault. I made an incorrect assumption, and a sloppy one indeed. Thanks for pointing it out.

Andy Hyland LJW Reporter

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 11 months ago

You also left out that she was arrested following her release from a rehab program she entered for addiction to prescription painkillers (opiates) following the child's death. Also omitted was that all three children ingested the pills and that it was part of a "game" she supposedly played with them. That was reported on both KC news channels last night, might want to follow up on it.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 11 months ago's because she was on the government cheese program that made her do this?

Steve Miller 5 years, 11 months ago

Probably , it is just what is to be expected of these types .

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

I know the grandmother is in denial and wants to protect her daughter, but her daughter could have chosen drugs or protect her kids. She chose drugs.

Topple 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not highly familiar with drugs, but couldn't these painkillers be prescription and legally obtained?

Topple 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, I'm not attacking the prosecutors case, I was just responding to these opiates being painkillers, and possession of painkillers may not always be illegal...

I hear that a child ingested the mother's opiates, I think "illegal drugs."

I hear that a child ingested the mother's prescription painkillers, I don't automatically assume illegal substance.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Last night on Channel 9 news I got the impression that they were illegal drugs and the mother had been in rehab. Maybe I got the wrong impression.

Topple 5 years, 11 months ago

This is what I'm talking about.

If a new source says a man who was rushed to an ER after a lawn-mowing accident and was found to have ingested "mind-altering substances" before the accident, I would start to wonder which dangerous illegal drug he was on that caused him to cut off his hand. Another paper could tell the same story replacing "mind-altering substances" with "two beers" and it tells a completely different tale.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Will I win tonight's lottery? Possible - yes. Probable - no.

acg 5 years, 11 months ago

It almost seems as if some of you are saying it would've less of a heinous tragedy if she had obtained these pills legally vs. illegally?! You guys do realize that there are A LOT of people addicted to pills that get them legally from their doctors every single day. Then there are these folks:

My good friend ruptured a disc in her lower back. They immediately put her on a hydrocodone/muscle relaxer cocktail and started pushing surgery on her. After three surgeries and two years of pills (which by this time are oxycontin), now she's basically an addict. BUT WAIT, the doc says you're becoming an addict, we have to take you off the pills. But she's in horrible pain because none of the surgeries did anything to help but now she has no pain meds. What's she going to do? Buy them on the street! But that makes her a damned dirty drug addict that should be flogged or something, right? If she gets caught trying to manage her pain she will go to jail. If she doesn't manage her pain she can't stand upright or walk like a normal person. What a crappy catch 22!

Prescription pills are a huge problem and the doctors throw them around like candy to whomever wants them. More and more of our populace are becoming addicted to them and no one is getting any help. Twice this year family members of mine were prescribed crazy drugs for relatively minor things. I'm talking Oxy and Methadone! Methadone!! After I had my first child I was weepy in the doctor's office at a post natal visit (because I was tired and worn out and had a new baby and lots of new hormones) and she wrote me a prescription for Zoloft. WTF? Whatever happend to just being sad?

Sorry about my rant, as far as this chick goes, she will suffer forever for what she's done. I couldn't imagine making such a stupid error in judgement and causing the death of my beautiful child. :(

Brian Conrad 5 years, 11 months ago

they were perscribed at one time... you do not make these in your kitchen. some Doctor wrote a scrip. she may have bought them ... who knows .. but can guarantee thousnads in Lawrence take these daily you sir are the carless ranter. when my generation was growing up bad things happened , guess what now we want a government controlled society where before it ends you will go to jail for drinking a pop while pregn ant and you child developes diabetes. there was no intent of harm here. have kids cheeseburger. guarantee they will do something to make you look like you are the worst person on earth. heck take a kid in the grocery store for minutes and you can come out looking like you beat the kid.. would you say this women was worse than the high paid dad that thought he dropped the kid off at daycare and left him in hot car? he did no time . what about someone that left the gate open to the pool and kid drowns.. government should not be so fast to send someone away for this and leave Lawrence full of aggravated batery people walking the streets. or the lady that shot the guy in the head and had it expunged ... geeeze

asixbury 5 years, 10 months ago

She hid the pills in the house and had the kids find them as a is that not intent?

RDE87 5 years, 11 months ago

This is why people should wait till their at least in their late 20s to have children.

Brian Conrad 5 years, 11 months ago

yes both of you above. have a kid before you post period. kids can do something in a flash no matter how close you watch. my mother was way over protective and I still managed to fall out of a tree and crash a bike coming down a hill . both could have killed me . question for all the above no children posters.. if you have a glass of wine or have a puff off a joint "like our president" .. well should or you, go to prison if something happened? be very creful how stiff you want penalties unless you are pure as the driven snow... positive you are not.

asixbury 5 years, 10 months ago

Read my post above: this mom hid the pills and then had the kids find them. No excuse.

middlemgmt 5 years, 10 months ago

Coonrod - I have kids and take them to the grocery store weekly. I have never left a store with people thinking I beat my kids. I have a glass of wine from time to time and Im not worried that if my kid falls off his bike that I'm going to be blamed. The difference is, i put my kids before my own wants and needs. Thats what normal healthy parenting is about. Taking drugs and having them anywhere near your children is poor parenting. The government is protecting those who cant protect themselves from their own parent. Instead of worrying about this POS paerent, let's focus on the other living children and hope they can have a normal life after loosing a sibling.

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