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Mother sentenced in adopted son's death

Mother sentenced in adopted son's death

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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TOOELE, Utah (AP) -- A judge has ordered a Tooele mother to spend up to 15 years in prison for the death of her adopted, 14-month-old Russian son.

Kimberly K. Emelyantsev pleaded guilty to second-degree felony child-abuse homicide in June.

In court Friday, she told 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris she was ashamed.

"What I did was cause the death of my son and I will never get over that, ever," Emelyantsev said. "I would just like you to know, sir, that I am truly sorry. But sorry will never bring him back."

Court documents say Nicoli Emelyantsev died March 6, a day after suffering a skull fracture.

Kimberly Emelyantsev initially said she had dropped the boy to the floor in frustration. But in a recent diagnostic evaluation, she said she deliberately grabbed the child by his limbs and twice slammed him into the floor.

Jon Williams, an attorney for Emelyantsev, asked Kouris to impose jail and probation, rather than prison.

Williams said the 34-year-old mother was suffering from a severe depressive disorder when the boy suffered the fatal injuries. He said she had not wanted to adopt the boy, but feared saying no to her husband and worried what others would think if she didn't complete the adoption.

Emelyantsev and her husband had three biological children and another adopted Russian child. Three of the children, including Nicoli, were born with Down syndrome.

Kouris said Emelyantsev deserved prison time, but didn't think she was a "mean person."

"As terrible as this is, there is going to be life on the other side of this," the judge added.

Emelyantsev and her husband were also charged with allegedly starving their 4-year-old adopted son. Those charges were dropped in June.

The couple's children were placed in the custody of relatives after the charges were filed.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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