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MENTAL CARE ORDERED IN SON'S DEATH 21-DAY-OLD INFANT WAS FATALLY BEATEN

A judge put a 20-year-old Buffalo woman on probation Thursday and ordered her to undergo psychiatric care for fatally injuring her 21-day-old son last summer when he wouldn't stop crying.

Erie County Judge John V. Rogowski said he decided against a jail term because he agreed with the findings of county probation investigators.

They said Lynne R. Rodgers is genuinely "guilt-ridden" over impulsively slugging her son, Haywood Rodgers Jr., Aug. 21 in the family's home at 211 Oxford Ave.

Mrs. Rodgers, who faces the prospect of giving up her surviving 22-month-old son in Family Court proceedings, told the judge her violent loss of temper "won't happen again."

Under a plea deal with prosecutors, Mrs. Rodgers pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced without grand jury proceedings for inflicting the internal injuries that killed her infant son.

Following the infant's death, her other son was placed by court order in the home of her aunt, pending further proceedings.

Robert A. Campo, her attorney, said he worked out the plea deal with prosecutors and recommended to Mrs. Rodgers and her husband that she accept it because her son's death was unintended and she is grief-stricken.

Although Mrs. Rodgers, who has been married for three years, has no history of mental problems, Rogowski ordered psychiatric treatment because of her impulsive behavior in the fatal incident.

Following an extensive investigation of the death, the Erie County Probation Department and Dr. Joseph Liebergall, deputy chief of the county Forensic Mental Health Unit, recommended probation and counseling.

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