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MOTHER'S WORDS TO POLICE ADMISSIBLE
JUDGE RULES ON CRIME SCENE STATEMENTS IN FATAL BEATING OF BABY

Kirsten Vanderlinde's statement about acting "for world peace" that she made to police shortly after she fatally injured her 8-month-old daughter can be used against her in her scheduled murder trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman upheld the right of prosecutors to use the former Buffalo substitute teacher's "spontaneous utterances" against her to challenge her attorney's contention that she has a valid insanity defense for the May 28 infanticide in North Buffalo.

Based on testimony by Buffalo Detective Mary Gugliuzza, the first detective to arrive as officers subdued Vanderlinde, 36, outside her Kenmore Avenue flat as medics worked there to try to revive her daughter, the judge ruled that all of all her crime scene statements were admissible as prosecution evidence.

Gugliuzza testified that she and Detective Sgt. Philip Torre decided not to take a written statement from Vanderlinde hours later because she "had a distant stare and seemed to look right through me" while being questioned.

The judge held that this meant there was no proof Vanderlinde was making rational statements during her interrogation and barred use by prosecutors of her statements about having been diagnosed as manic-depressive and psychotic and having recently stopped taking prescribed medications.

Gugliuzza testified that as she arrived at the scene at about 7:10 a.m., Vanderlinde was repeatedly telling officers she had fatally beaten her only child because "she wanted justice and did this for world peace."

Wednesday, Joseph M. Mordino, chief prosecutor in the second-degree murder case, told the judge that Vanderlinde will be examined by prosecution psychiatrist Gary Horwitz of Rochester on Dec. 23. Vanderlinde's attorney, John R. Nuchereno, plans an insanity-related defense.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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