Monique Osuna Meridian Idaho stepmom sentenced to life without the possibility for parole for starving and torturing 9 year old boy weighing 41 pounds when he died.
What compels a parent to so viciously abuse a child, even to the point of death?
An Idaho woman convicted of torturing and abusing her 9-year-old stepson to death was on Thursday sentenced to life in prison according to reports.
Monique Osuna, 29, of Meridian, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in connection with the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse she inflicted on the child, who died in September 2020.
‘A small child was sent to Idaho to be cared for by the defendants. Instead, he was sent to a living hell,’ Ada County Prosecutor John Dinger said in court, KTVB-TV reported.
Osuna pleaded guilty to murdering the boy, Emrik, under a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. Osuna’s husband, Erik Osuna, took the same deal and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.
Erik weighed mere 41 pounds at the time of his death
Prosecutors argued that the parents violently abused the boy, showing autopsy photographs of dark bruising all over his body, including on his arms, thighs, buttocks and genital area.
At the time of the 9 year old boy’s death, Emrik weighed a mere 41 pounds.
The average weight of a 9 year old boy in the U.S is 62 pounds.
‘He was wasted, skin and bones in appearance,’ pediatrician Dr. Matthew Cox testified, according to KTVB-TV.
9 year old talking to God…
The court heard how the abuse was captured on nanny cameras that were installed in the home in Meridian, Idaho. Footage detailed the extent of abuse exacted by Monique Osuna, who was recorded yelling swear words at the child as he was forced to undergo hours of exercises.
In one video instance, Emrik was forced to exercise in the early morning hours when he abruptly stopped and asked God why he was being abused, according to testimony from KTVB-TV.
‘He starts crying. That was one of the most significant instances that affected me,’ Meridian Police Detective Eric Stoffle testified, according to KTVB-TV. ‘As he’s talking to God you can see Monique in the background and sneak up to where she’s hiding behind the counter, listening to him. That affected me the most.’
‘But mom, I don’t want to starve to death.’
Osuna was also recorded spanking the infant using a frying pan, prompting the boy begging the woman that she stop. The stepmom also withheld food from the boy, while allowing his siblings to eat.
‘You are on my (expletive) list for the rest of your life,’ Osuna reportedly said in the recording, according to KTVB-TV.
In another clip, Osuna tells Emrik to eat something from the floor and then asks him if he is hungry.
‘You better (expletive) in your hand and eat it,’ Monique Osuna told the child.
The boy’s response: ‘But mom, I don’t want to starve to death.’
Melanie Yamada-Anderson, an investigator, testified that the family’s pets were treated better than Emrik.
I’m in court today for the sentencing of Monique and Erik Osuna. They pleaded guilty to murdering their 9-year-old boy, Emrik.
Nanny cameras in the apartment showed Monique Osuna beating Emrik, locking him in closets, pulling his hair, etc, and Erik not intervening.
— Alexandra Duggan (@dugganreports) June 9, 2022
‘He wasn’t part of the family. He wasn’t loved’
‘He ate out of the garbage can or dog food,’ and when he was caught, his parents would beat him, Yamada-Anderson testified.
The parents forced Emrik to clean the floors with a toothbrush, drink dirty water out of a cleaning bowl and sleep on the floor without blankets or a pillow,
Emrik never resisted the abuse. Instead, he compliantly responded by saying ‘sorry’ or ‘yes mom,’ KTVB-TV reports.
The boy’s father, Erik Osuna-Gutierez, 29, could often be seen ignoring the abuse, encouraging it or participating in it.
A defense witness testified that Osuna had a rough upbringing, witnessed domestic abuse between her parents, and was herself subjected to physical and sexual abuse as a child.
At some point during Thursday’s sentencing, Osuna apologized.
‘He didn’t deserve any of that. He deserves so much more, and I hope for the rest of my life I’ll be sorry for my wrongful actions,’ Osuna told the court.
In handing down Osuna’s sentence, Ada County District Judge Steven Hippler said the violence against the child was ‘sadistic, evil and heartless,’ KBOI-TV reports.
‘He wasn’t part of the family. He wasn’t loved. He was an inconvenience to the family. In the end, Emrik’s body wasted away,’ Hippler said.