Minn. Daycare Operator Who Hung Toddler From a Noose Avoids Prison
A Minnesota home daycare provider who hung a toddler in her care by a noose in 2016 will avoid prison after being sentenced to probation with credit for time served in jail, multiple outlets report.
In February, Nataliia Karia, 43, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty to attempted murder after hanging a 16-month-old boy from a noose made of girls’ tights in the basement of her home on Nov. 18, 2016, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
She had initially considered pleading insanity, the Star Tribune reports.
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A father who happened to be dropping off his child at her unlicensed center, Uptown DayCare, freed the boy from the noose, saving his life, local station WAND 17 reports. The baby was crying when the father arrived on the scene and had visible neck injuries, CBS News reported at the time. He was rushed to the hospital where he was treated and released.
At the time, Karia told the father she hung the boy from a pipe in the basement because she was stressed and “couldn’t take it anymore,” CBS News reported.
Karia also pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, leaving the scene of a crash and criminal vehicular operation for striking three people while racing from the scene in her minivan, local station WCCO reports.
She faced more than 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges, CBS News reports.
Agreeing with medical experts who deemed Karia “a low risk” to commit the crimes again, Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam opted not to send her to prison. Instead, Quam sentenced her to probation and gave her credit for the 20 months she has already spent in jail, the Star Tribune reports.
What she did on the day of the hanging, Quam said, was “the perfect storm of factors unlikely to ever be repeated,” the Star Tribune reports.
Quam ordered Karia to undergo mental health treatment and to be supervised under electronic home monitoring for at least two months, WCCO reports.
She is allowed to live with her adult son from a previous marriage, the outlet reports. But she is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with her three other children, ages 2, 7 and 10, as well as with other minors.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge said Karia’s case “was one of the hardest cases I’ve ever had,” according to the Star Tribune. “There are no easy answers here,” he added.
Karia blamed mental illness for her actions, saying her allegedly abusive husband had caused her tremendous stress.
“Please forgive me for… that terrible day,” she said to the families and the court through a Russian interpreter, WCCO reports.
On that morning, Karia told the father who saved the toddler that she had “done something bad” before racing out the door and into her minivan, WCCO reports.
Driving erratically, she hit a car and, after the driver got out to inspect the damage, she hit the gas pedal and dragged him for 10 blocks, the Star Tribunereports.
She then struck a cyclist, breaking his leg, and then hit a car driven by a pregnant woman, the outlet reports.
After stopping the minivan on a freeway overpass, she threatened to jump, WCCO reports. Passersby held her down until police arrived at the scene.
PEOPLE’s calls to the district attorney and Karia’s attorney were not immediately returned.