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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid