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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid