Daycare provider sentenced to 10 years probation in baby hanging case

A Minneapolis at-home daycare provider accused of attempted murder was sentenced to 10 years of probation.

In February, Nataliia Karia pleaded guilty to attempted murder after hanging a 16-month-old boy by a noose attached to the ceiling at her daycare in November 2016.

A judge handed down the sentencing decision in court Monday.

“While the law presumes a very lengthy prison sentence for Karia,” said Judge Jay Quam. “It also says that in an appropriate situation, mental illness can be used to mitigate the sentence.”

According to the criminal complaint, Karia told another parent about the incident as he was dropping off another child. That parent rescued the toddler, while Karia got in her minivan and drove away. Police say she hit a car and when the driver got out to inspect the damage, she took off and dragged him with her minivan for ten blocks. She also hit a bicyclist before she was arrested.

Speaking through an interpreter, the Ukrainian native broke her silence. The mother of four, who has a history of mental illness, apologized to the people she hurt, while also stating that her husband abused her for years. 

“I thank God that nobody died that terrible day,” said Karia. “Again, I apologize to the people who could have suffered or were injured by my car and also to the parents of [the child].”

Hennepin County prosecutors were pushing for a sentence of more than 10 years in prison. Both the judge and the defense lawyer said that this was one of the hardest cases they have ever had. 

“To the victims in this case the trauma of the experience was very significant,” said Brock Hunter, defense attorney. “We’re thankful no one died here, we know people were scarred permanently, psychologically, physically for the rest of their lives. We hope that they find peace.”