A judge today ordered Tina Vanguilder, the mother of a terminally ill 15-year-old Buffalo boy, to stand trial in a case involving her drunken lover force-feeding the boy three months ago.
Chief City Judge Thomas P. Amodeo sentenced Gregory T. Gorney Dec. 12 to a one-year jail term in the force-feeding case. The judge today ruled that evidence indicated Ms. Vanguilder, 32, "was interested more in protecting Gorney than in protecting her own children."
Amodeo ordered further proceedings in her child-endangerment case for Jan. 8 and noted that 12 days before the incident, county child-protection officials wanted Gorney kept away from her dying son, Walter.
Prosecutor Molly Jo Musarra said the district attorney's office won't give Ms. Vanguilder a plea deal. Mark A. Worrell, her attorney, said he is prepared to take the case to trial.
If convicted, Ms. Vanguilder faces the same one-year jail term Gorney received after prosecutors late in October dropped felony charges that could have sent him to prison for life because of his earlier felony burglary convictions.
Worrell insisted Ms. Vanguilder tried to stop Gorney on Oct. 12 from shoving a hamburger in the mouth of her sleeping son in the Colgate Avenue flat they shared.
Amodeo said prosecutors have a sworn statement from a nurse who was tending the boy that Gorney was "very drunk" and insisted on giving the boy "good food" before shoving the hamburger into his mouth.