Babysitter admits guilt in manslaughter case, is sentenced

NORWICH – Geneia Rood, 38, appeared in Chenango County Court at 11 a.m. Friday and pleaded to guilty to manslaughter in the second degree, a class C felony, and was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 3 and half to ten and half years in state prison.

Rood admitted to having given a infant child she was babysitting alcohol, which resulted in the infant’s death. The death occurred in Pitcher in September of 2013.

“I gave the baby alcohol. She was crying and wouldn’t stop. I was intoxicated. I put it in her formula in her bottle,” said Rood after entering her guilty plea.

Chenango County Court Judge Frank B. Revoir asked First Assistant District Attorney Stephen M. Dunshee if he was satisfied with Rood’s statement to which Dunshee said, “No. I want to know what kind of alcohol.”

“It was vodka,” said Rood.

The plea was accepted by the court and Rood signed a waiver of appeal. A pre-sentencing report had been completed therefore Rood was sentenced right away.

The baby’s mother then took the opportunity to make a statement before the court.

“The last six months have been the most painful I’ve had to endure,” the mother said. “My heart is completely broken. How do you explain to your four year old what happened to his sister? I never will see my daughter walk, or put her on the bus to school, go to prom, or take her shopping.”

The baby’s mother went on to say she trusted Rood with caring for her child. “I trusted you with my heart and soul and you promised to take care of my kids.” she said. “I think the consequences should be higher.”

Following the mother’s statement Dunshee said, “That says it all.”

“Today is a sad day,” said Rood when she addressed the court. “There is nothing I can do to change what’s already happened. I take full responsibility for the baby’s avoidable death. There is no punishment greater than the one I give myself daily, and there are no words to describe my feelings of guilt and shame.”

“There is nothing I can do – nothing any of us can do – to make the victim whole,” said Judge Revoir. He said that a burned house can be replaced, or property could be returned, but in this situation that is not the case. “The mother’s feelings hit the nail on the head.”

Rood was sentenced to 3 and a half to 10 and a half years in state prison, where she said she hopes she will receive the appropriate rehabilitation for her problems with alcohol.

(Photo credit: Elyse Mickalonis, TWC News)

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