Day care owner gets probation for trying to kill child

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minneapolis day care owner was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for trying to kill a toddler in her home hangs him with a noose around the neck.

Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier. They also pleaded guilty to criminal vehicle operation for hitting a pedestrian, a cyclist and a driver as she fled from her home in a minivan in November 2016.

Karia also have to follow court-ordered mental health services and on electronic home monitoring for at least two months, the Star Tribune reported. She will live with her adult son, but not unsupervised contact with her daughters or of other minors.

According to the indictment, a father was dropping off his son at Merc’s house with a Merc led him to the basement, where he saw the toddler hanging from a noose. He dropped the child and fled with him. The 16-month-old boy survived.

Judge Jay Quam agreed with the assessment by doctors that Merc was “a low risk” to reoffend. He called her actions “the perfect storm of factors likely to never be repeated.”

Attorney Brockton Hunter, expressed relief on behalf of Merc.

“We came here with our hearts in our throats,” Hunter said.

He said Karia, 20 months in prison since the incident and will get credit for her time already served, will leave the prison not later than Tuesday.

Karia, who arrived in the United States from Ukraine in 2006, has promised to follow probation and said in court that she was glad that no one died.

Prosecutor Christina Warren pushed for jail time. Warren doubts Merc can be under supervision outside the prison and obtain the care she needs to recover her mental health.

In a court filing, Warren wrote that in place of the person who is most willing and able to protect the boy of the damage, Merc “left him hanging with a noose around his neck in her basement.”

The defense argued for probation, pointing out that Merc has already served time in prison and lost her child care career.


Information from: Star Tribune,

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