Sentencing delayed in infant death

Date: 2008-08-09
Source: sltrib.com

Sentencing delayed in infant death

August 9, 2008
Melinda Rogers
The Salt Lake Tribune

TOOELE - Sentencing for a Tooele mother who admitted killing a 4-month-old boy she and her husband adopted from Russia was delayed Friday because a judge ordered an examination to help determine the appropriate punishment.

Kimberly K. Emelyantsev, 34, will undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation in prison before sentence is imposed. She faces a potential one-to-15-year prison term when she is sentenced Oct. 10 by 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris.

More than 20 family and friends of Emelyantsev gathered in the courtroom Friday to support the woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree felony child-abuse homicide in June. Several have asked to speak on her behalf at the sentencing hearing.

Kouris said he would listen to the statements in October, but cautioned family that positive words about the defendant won't influence his decision.

Emelyantsev admitted she dropped her child, Nicoli Emelyantsev, on his head March 6 out of "frustration." The baby died March 7 from a skull fracture that resulted from blunt-force trauma, according to charging documents.

In addition to the homicide charge, Emelyantsev and her husband, 32-year-old Fyodor Emelyantsev, were charged in connection with the alleged starvation of a 4-year-old boy they adopted from Russia. Those charges were dropped in June because of insufficient evidence.

It was Deputy Tooele County Attorney Gary Searle who asked that Emelyantsev have the diagnostic evaluation before sentencing. He said both the Russian children, as well as one of the couple's three biological children, have Down syndrome and "demanded a lot of attention."

The couple's three biological children along with the 4-year-old Russian child they adopted were placed in the custody of Emelyantsev's family after the two were charged.

mrogers@sltrib.com

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