Trigger warning: child death
David and Kassandra Krutina, who starved their baby daughter to death, will not serve jail time. The couple will only be required to complete five years of probation and 80 hours of community service.
David, 24, and Kassandra, 21, appeared at a court hearing Monday where they managed to avoid a potential 23-year prison sentence. The couple, from Louisville, Nebraska, had struck a plea deal in August after heir daughter, Samantha, died at Omaha Children’s Hospital of starvation last year.
The couple was charged with child abuse after their six-month-old twin daughter died of severe malnourishment in September 2018. The baby girl’s twin sister, Charlotte, was also severely starved but managed to survive after treatment in the NICU at the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha.
At the hospital, the Krutinas reportedly ignored the dying girl during her final hours even though they were told by doctors she would not survive. The couple complained that they wanted to go home because they were tired, hungry and needed to let their dogs out.
Parents avoid jail for starving premature baby girl to death and moaning to medics that they were hungry https://t.co/w6Rs6h4fhQ— The Sun (@TheSun) October 23, 2019
The twins were born prematurely at 27 weeks in February 2018 and weighed a little over two pounds each. After spending the first two months of their life in the NICU, they were sent home with their parents. When they were discharged in April, they each weighed five pounds, according to Cass County Attorney Colin Palm, yet in the following months, they barely gained any weight.
Palm said the twins had only gained 11 ounces each from April to September when they were admitted to the hospital with severe malnutrition. Although medical staff performed CPR on Samantha, they were unable to save her life. An autopsy revealed that the infant had died from a septic bacterial infection caused by severe malnourishment. The baby girl was incapable of regulating her internal temperature because of the lack of nutrients, which prevented her immune system from fighting the bacterial infection.
Palm said investigators and medical workers confirmed that negligence had been the cause of malnourishment. "There was no medical reason for them to have gained so little weight since they were discharged,” Palm said.
Although they were initially charged with felony child abuse after Samantha’s death, the couple agreed to plead guilty to two counts of negligent child abuse causing serious injury after prosecutors recommended probation as part of a plea bargain.
The Lincoln Journal-Star has reported that the twins were only taken to the doctor’s once, two days after being discharged from the hospital. Meanwhile, the couple has been allowed to retain custody of their older children and Charlotte may also be returned to the pair, with a judge set to rule on custody at a later date.