Former Child Care Provider Nearly Killed Baby by Hanging Him
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — July 18, 2018
Nataliia Karia, 43, received 10 years probation in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault. She also pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation for hitting a pedestrian, a bicyclist and another driver in November 2016.
According to the court documents, she explained her actions as being brought on by her husband's physical and mental abuse. The woman arrived in the United States from Ukraine in 2006. She said that her husband repeatedly abused her, forced her to work and prevented her from getting medical attention.
According to the criminal complaint, a father was dropping off his son at Karia's home when Karia led him toward the basement, where he saw a toddler hanging from a noose. He released the child and fled with him. The 16-month-old boy survived. Police reportedly said a week after the incident the child was doing fine physically after a hospitalization.
According to counsel, the fact that the court reviewed the detention does not diminish her responsibility. Karia also must follow court-ordered mental health treatment and will be on electronic home monitoring for at least two months. She will live with her adult son but cannot have unsupervised contact with her daughters or other minors.
"I don't want to push this terrible crime onto my husband. I just want to explain what happened," said Karia by herself through an interpreter. "Your Honor, my children need me … Give me a chance to resume a normal life."
Judge Jay Quam agreed with the assessment by doctors that Karia was "a low risk" to reoffend. He called her actions "the perfect storm of factors unlikely to ever be repeated."
Defense attorney Brockton Hunter expressed relief on behalf of Karia.
"We came in here with our hearts in our throats," Hunter said.
He said Karia, who has spent 20 months in jail since the incident and will get credit for her time already served, will leave jail no later than Tuesday.
Prosecutor Christina Warren reportedly pushed for nearly 13 years of prison time. Warren raised doubts that Karia could be properly supervised outside of prison and receive the care she needs to restore her mental health.
In a court filing, Warren wrote that instead of being the person most able and willing to protect the boy from harm, Karia "left him hanging by a noose around his neck in her basement."
The defense argued for probation, pointing out that Karia already has served time in jail and lost her child care license.