News / USA

Adopted Russian Boy's Death Is Ruled Accidental

The driveway to the Shatto family home, rear left, is seen in Gardendale, Texas, March 1, 2013.The driveway to the Shatto family home, rear left, is seen in Gardendale, Texas, March 1, 2013.
x
The driveway to the Shatto family home, rear left, is seen in Gardendale, Texas, March 1, 2013.
The driveway to the Shatto family home, rear left, is seen in Gardendale, Texas, March 1, 2013.
Greg Flakus
The sheriff and district attorney [county prosecutor] in Ector County, Texas, have ruled the death of three-year-old Max Shatto an accident. The boy was born in Russia as Maxim Kuzmin before being adopted along with his younger brother by a Texas couple. The case has stirred an outcry in Russia, where adoptions by US citizens were banned late last year and, it may not be over yet.

The autopsy report indicates that Shatto died from a laceration to an artery in the abdomen and that based on “all medical reasonable probability” the death was accidental. The doctors who examined the body determined that the bruises found on the lower abdomen were consistent with self injury.

It was those bruises that prompted the Ector County Medical Examiner to send the body to a facility in the city of Fort Worth, Texas, for an autopsy on January 22, the day after he died.

A toxicology test done as part of the autopsy found no medications or drugs in the boy's blood stream that could have contributed to his death.

Max Shatto and his two-year-old brother Kristopher were adopted by Alan and Laura Shatto of Gardendale, Texas, several months ago. The couple have not spoken to reporters, but their attorney, Michael Brown, told VOA in a telephone interview that there has never been any evidence that the mother, Laura, hurt the boy, as was alleged by some Russian officials.

“What she has consistently told the police and me and everyone she has talked to about this is that she had the children in the back yard. She came back inside; she had to go to the bathroom, an embarrassing difficulty that she was having, and when she came out of the bathroom, Max was lying on his back in the yard,” said Brown.

Since authorities are continuing the investigation, it is still possible that Laura Shatto could be charged with negligence. Brown confirmed that Texas Child Protective Services had initially restricted her access to Kristopher and her own home to two hours a day as a routine measure.

“Now they have just increased it to four hours a day where she is allowed to be with the child. The father, Alan, has been with the child consistently since then in addition to his full-time job. He is an engineer in the oil field and he has double duty until she is finally allowed to return,” said Brown.

Political figures in Russia have blamed the mother for the death and claimed that the case further justifies the ban they placed on US adoptions late last year. They also have called for Kristopher to be removed from the home, but Texas officials say they have found no evidence that the child is in danger and they are monitoring the home with frequent visits. The state of Texas is also investigating the agency that handled the adoption last year, the Gladney Adoption Center in Fort Worth, to make sure all proper procedures were followed.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More