Zakiyyah Wolfford was sentenced to five years of probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to stabbing her six-year-old son.
Wolfford, 34, was convicted of second degree attempted assault. She reportedly stabbed her unnamed son “multiple times” in the chest, abdomen, and arms on October 9, 2019. She then repeatedly stabbed herself inside their Purdy Street residence before authorities arrived, when she was found bleeding on the front porch.
Both she and the child were saved by the actions of concerned neighbors, who entered the residence after hearing both mother and child screaming. “I heard a bunch of banging … and I thought she was being physically abused so I was gonna go upstairs to help her,” Crystal Hairston said at the time. “My husband kicked open her door and we saw her standing there with her son next to her covered in blood and she had a knife in her hand.”
The child was transported to Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment, while his mother was taken to Erie County Medical Center. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in February that the child had recovered and was in the care of his father.
According to Flynn, Wolfford was allowed to plead guilty to attempted assault, as opposed to a full assault charge, because of her history of mental illness. “Obviously, this is a terrible situation for everyone involved,” Flynn said. Wolfford is now attending counseling.
An eight-year protective order has been issued against her on behalf of her son.