Many African Americans are given long, unfair prison sentences for non-violent crimes but Nataliia Karia, a white woman from Minneapolis who attempted to kill a toddler by hanging him, won’t be going to prison at all. Instead, a judge recently sentenced her to just 10 years of probation.
Karia, a 43-year-old daycare owner, pleaded guilty in February to attempted murder and third-degree assault of a 16-month-old boy. She also pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular operation for hitting and injuring a pedestrian, another driver, and a bicyclist as she fled in her minivan. She faced up to 15 years of prison.
However, Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam lowered the sentence to just 10 years probation with the provision that if Karia violates the conditions of her probation, she could be imprisoned for 183 months.
The judge also ordered for Karia to receive psychiatric counseling, live with her adult son on electronic home monitoring for at least two months, and not have any unsupervised contact with minors including her daughters.
The criminal complaint stated a father saw the toddler hanging from a noose at the basement when he was dropping off his son at Karia’s home. He released the child and fled with him. The boy survived.
Judge Quam decided in accordance to the doctors’ assessment that Karia was “a low risk” to re-offend. He said her actions are “the perfect storm of factors unlikely to ever be repeated.”
Karia, who is originally from Ukraine, had spent 20 months in jail since the incident and has got credit for the time served. She promised to follow probation and told the court that she was glad no one died.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Christina Warren pushed for prison time and argued that Karia could not possibly be properly supervised and receive the mental care she needs outside prison.