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Killbuck mother pleads not guilty in death of 1-year-old daughter

Leslie A. Finch, 24, the Killbuck mother indicted July 9 on murder and other charges in the death of her 1-year-old daughter, Mila M. Wipple, pleaded not guilty Monday before Cattaraugus County Judge Ronald D. Ploetz in Little Valley.

District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman, who unsuccessfully sought to have her rejailed on higher bail, said the grand jury charged Finch with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter, reckless assault of a child, first- and second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The judge allowed her to remain free under the $100,000 bond she posted shortly after her May 19 arrest and jailing. After a 26-day around-the-clock investigation, she was arrested for the April 26 death of Mila at Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo after two days of frantic medical efforts to deal with what doctors described as severe injuries caused by abuse of the infant. Shortly before noon April 24, a Salamanca Fire Department unit was sent to 191 Broad St., the home of the infant’s father, after she stopped breathing. Finch, estranged from the infant’s father and living on North Authority Road, Killbuck, was formally charged with the infant’s death after an investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Salamanca police, the county Sheriff’s Office and the county Child Protective Services department. Also Monday before Ploetz:

• Thomas Stanczykowski, 31, of Allegany, was sentenced as a repeat felon to serve 18 months in state prison followed by two years of post-release supervision, on his felony conviction for fifth-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance for his arrest May 9, 2014, in the Town of Allegany.

• Brandon K. Killian, 39, of Arcade, was ordered to serve one year in the Cattaraugus County Jail on his conviction for aggravated driving while intoxicated with a passenger under age 15 for his arrest June 22 in the Town of Freedom.

• Carl R. Simons Jr., 36, of Killbuck, was placed on probation for five years on his conviction on a charge of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for an Olean drug sale on May 28, 2014.

• Derek S. Ertell, 35, of Olean, was placed on probation for five years on his conviction for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance for an attempted sale of drugs in Olean last Sept. 6.

• Drew W. Holland, 30, of Olean, was placed on probation for five years on his conviction on a felony count of driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle Feb. 27, 2014, in the Town of Great Valley while his license was suspended.