Mother sentenced for endangering tot

Syracuse woman receives probation for putting plastic bag over infant son's head.

By Jim O’Hara

Staff writer

A Syracuse woman who admitted endangering her infant son by placing a plastic bag over his head was sentenced Wednesday to five years’ probation and time already served in jail.

Melissa Mandigo, 18, of 414 E. Division St., offered an apology for what happened to her then 8-week-old son, Alexander, at her home Aug. 22.

Mandigo had been accused of placing a plastic shopping bag over the baby’s head three times as she argued with the child’s father.

Although initially charged with attempted murder, Mandigo was allowed to plead guilty in April to a lesser charge of first-degree reckless endangerment based on a lack of evidence of any intent to kill the baby.

The baby was not harmed and is in the custody of a paternal stepgrandparent.

The plea deal called for Mandigo to be placed on probation for five years with the first six months in jail.

But she served about eight months in jail after her arrest, accounting for the “time served” part of the sentence imposed by Onondaga County Judge William Walsh.

Walsh granted her youthful offender treatment, removing the felony conviction from her record and sealing the case file.

The prosecution objected because it feared a prospective employer would not be able to find out about Mandigo's history.

Defense lawyer Kenneth Moynihan explained a related Family Court proceeding had resulted in a finding that Mandigo had abused and neglected her child and that would be listed on a state abuse registry for the next 25 years for potential employers to check.

Moynihan said the concern was prompted by a comment Mandigo had made about someday wanting to become a school teacher.

Moynihan said Mandigo is under the supervision of the county Department of Social Services – for supervised visitation with her son – as a result of the outcome of the Family Court case.

Richard Luciani — New York Sentencing & Parole Advocacy — — 315-243-9211