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Lawyer unsure whether mother in infant poisoning case will testify before grand jury

Kimberly A. Lawton’s lawyer says he is unsure yet whether he will have the now-jailed mother of three testify before the Erie County grand jury that will begin considering evidence against her shortly in the alleged poisoning of her year-old son’s bottles of breast milk.

Joseph A. Agro said his investigators so far have confirmed that the man with whom the divorced business consultant had an affair and who is the father of the infant is the person who in April gave police the baby bottles laced with ethanol. That spurred a 5½-month investigation that resulted in Lawton’s Oct. 17 felony arrest.

Tuesday night, after a 45-minute evidence hearing, Orchard Park Town Justice Edward A. Pace ruled prosecutors had reasonable grounds to hold Lawton for a grand jury presentation on charges of second-degree attempted assault.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III and Rosanne Eimer Johnson, the chief of his Special Victims Bureau and the lead prosecutor in the poisoning case, declined to comment after confirming grand jury action would begin within a month.

Lawton’s infant son is living with his father, and her two older children, ages 8 and 10, are living with Lawton’s relatives, Agro said.

What Agro described as “a very, very highly contentious” custody proceeding over the infant son is under way in Erie County Family Court.

After Lawton’s marriage with the father of her two older children ended, she had a relationship with the father of her infant son, Agro said.

“She’s a very intelligent young lady, and she has been humiliated, and she’s not to happy to be in jail,” he added.

Prosecutors have not yet scheduled a date for grand jury action in the case, Agro said.

The case against Lawton, Agro stressed, “is all based on this guy (the father of her infant son) blaming her” for the ethanol found in the baby bottles he gave to Orchard Park detectives in April.