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.


middlemgmt 1 year, 8 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.


Brian Conrad 1 year, 8 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.


Gotland 1 year, 8 months ago

This is why certain people should never have children.


RDE87 1 year, 8 months ago

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


acg 1 year, 8 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. :(


Topple 1 year, 8 months ago

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


tomatogrower 1 year, 8 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.


UNIKU 1 year, 8 months ago

Bottom line - if you have kids and you have drugs in that home you need to have your a$$ locked up! Its a good bet this tweaker is on the gubment cheez plan as well.


ahyland 1 year, 8 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


Scut Farkus 1 year, 8 months ago

Who cares if it's a boy or a girl? You people really need a life. A young child needlessly died and you guys whine about a typo in the article. Unreal.


cheeseburger 1 year, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


grammaddy 1 year, 8 months ago

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


Lawrenceks 1 year, 8 months ago

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


cheeseburger 1 year, 8 months ago

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


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