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Mom of abused foster child tries to block plea deal

The mother of a 2-year-old boy who was abused by Niagara County's former foster mother of the year objected Tuesday to a plea deal that would have granted interim probation and a chance for a misdemeanor conviction.

Kathleen M. Jackson, 50, of North Tonawanda, pleaded guilty Aug. 27 to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon said the plea deal would have allowed Jackson to go through interim probation and if she succeeded, get her conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

Katherine Adams, whose son was covered with bruises inflicted by Jackson, demanded a four-year prison term instead.

"You were supposed to be safer than me," said Adams, whose three children remain in foster homes.

Sheldon said she thought everyone involved had approved the plea bargain. Learning otherwise, Sheldon put off the sentencing until Oct. 25. The judge will meet that day with prosecutor Maria H. Stoelting and defense attorney Barry N. Covert to see if the outcome of the case needs to be changed.

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