BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo woman has accepted a plea deal and admitted she repeatedly stabbed her six-year-old son in October.
Zakiyyah Wolfford on Friday pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault. She is free on $20,000 property bond until her May 5 sentencing. She could at that time receive up to four years in prison, or possibly no jail time at all.
On October 9, Wolfford cut her son at a home on Purdy Street. Court papers say he was cut across his upper torso, arms and hands with a large kitchen knife.
The incident happened after Wolfford was released after she was held for weeks at the Erie County Medical Center. Her attorney says she is going through counseling, and was off her medication that day. Wolfford hopes to reunite with her son but hasn’t seen him since.
“She’s completely remorseful for what happened,” said her attorney, Michael D’Amico. “She was just coming off an episode.”
D’Amico said Wolfford, 33, was off her medication when she stabbed her 6 year old son eight times on October 9 on Purdy near Laurel Street. “It can happen real fast but if people treat themselves, they can keep themselves together and that’s what she’s doing. She knows she has to maintain contact with her doctors, she has to take her medications. She is stable now, she is doing well, the child is doing well. There’s family court proceedings. Hopefully at some point, she’ll be reunited with her son.”
The night before that happened, Wolfford sought help for her mental illness, according the Erie County District Attorney, John Flynn. “She actually went to ECMC to try to get admitted into some mental facility there and they didn’t take her in, they released her.”
Wolfford hasn’t been allowed to see her son since the attack. He reCovered within days. She’s been free on bail for months and today in State Supreme Court, she pleaded guilty to attempted assault which could carry a sentence of one and a third to four years in prison or no prison time at all.
“This is a case where I can show some compassion,” said Flynn. “I recognize that mental illness is a significant part of my job. The answer isn’t all the time, ‘Throw them in jail and lock away the key.”
The boy has since recovered. Sentencing is scheduled for May 5.