2 March 2013, 13:14

Russian Mothers do not trust US probe into Maxim Kuzmin death

Russian Mothers do not trust US probe into Maxim Kuzmin death

The Russian Mothers international public movement is mistrustful of the conclusions drawn by US experts concerning the death of a Russian boy, Maxim Kuzmin, adopted in the United States.

This came in a statement by the movement head, Irina Bergset. According to her, the official statement, made public in Texas on Friday, whereby the three-year old Maxim lethally injured himself by accident, seeks to defend his foster parents, US citizens.

Bergset urged the Russian authorities to continue seeking punishment for Maxim’s foster parents who are responsible for the boy’s death under any circumstances.

The Russian Children’s Ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, has also questioned the veracity of the US official version.

He said Moscow should request that the United States provide all of Maxim Kuzmin death records.

The boy died on January 21st, shortly after he was taken to hospital.

His foster parents claim that he fainted when playing with his brother on a playground near their home.

Russia should request Maxim Kuzmin death records - Astakhov

The Russian authorities should request the Maxim Kuzmin death records, says the Russian children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov.

The three-year old Maxim was adopted by a US family from a Russian orphanage and died in January this year under strange circumstances, he had clearly fallen victim to big-time politics, Astakhov has written on his Tweeter microblog.

Earlier, he quoted a staff-member of the Ector County Sheriff Department, Texas, who said that what happened does not look like a natural death.

According to that man, the coroners had found multiple head and leg injuries, as well as visceral and abdominal cavity injuries that killed the boy.

Earlier today, the Texas authorities made public the official cause of Maxim Kuzmin death, namely an accident, insisting that it was the boy who had presumably inflicted a lethal wound on himself.

Maxim died on January 21st, shortly after he’d been taken to hospital.

His foster parents claim that he fainted when playing with his brother on a playground near their home.

No grounds for criminal case in death of Maxim Kuzmin - U.S. Embassy

Authorities of the U.S. state of Texas do not see grounds for opening a criminal case in connection with the death of adopted Russian boy Maxim Kuzmin.

This is contained in a statement on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow website.

According to the U.S. Embassy, all evidence relating to the death of the child was studied by numerous local authorities, as well as independent experts. Texas police claim the boy died as a result of an accident, or to be more exact, a self-inflicted trauma.

However, police have not ruled out the possibility of bringing the Shatto spouses to court over improper supervision of a child, or causing injury by omission.

Maxim Kuzmin and his two year-old brother Kirill were adopted in Russia at the end of last year. Maxim died on January 21 soon after being taken to hospital. His death became known on February 18.

According to his foster mother, Laura Shatto, the child lost consciousness, playing with his brother near the house.

Adopted boy Maxim Kuzmin’s death an accident: US authorities

Medical examiners in Texas have concluded that the death of 3-year-old Russian adoptee Max Shatto, also known as Maxim Kuzmin, was an accident, authorities in Texas announced Friday.

“They returned a finding that the cause of death to this child was a laceration to the small bowel mesenteric artery of this child. But the manner of death was accidental,” Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland told a news conference.

Criminal charges could be filed in connection with the death in Texas of adopted 3-year-old Russian boy Max Shatto, also known by his Russian name Maxim Kuzmin, even though pathologists ruled the death accidental, local officials said here Friday.

“There are things that can happen that are accidental that could still result in criminal liability,” Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland told a news conference.

Bland was pressed to explain in more specific terms but refused to elaborate.

The three-year Maxim Kuzmin and his two-year brother Kirill were adopted out of Russia at the end of last year. The death of the boy became known on February 18.

Maxim died on January 21 soon after he was taken to hospital. According to his foster mother, Laura Shatto, the child lost consciousness, playing with his brother out in the yard in front of the house.

Children's Rights Commissioner for the Russian President, Pavel Astakhov said earlier that Shatto had fed the boy psychotropic drugs, and he had been badly beaten before he died. His body was seriously bruised, including the lower part of the abdomen.

"I had four doctors agree that this is the result of an accident," Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said at a joint news conference with Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson, referring to the January 21 death of Max Shatto, also known by his Russian name, Maxim Kuzmin.

"We have to take that as fact," Bland said.

Bland stated that the medical examiners – three from Ector County and a fourth independent expert who was asked to review their conclusions – had found no sign of drugs in the boy’s system and added that bruises on his body were consistent with self-inflicted injuries.

“He had a history of self-injury,” Bland told. “It was a behavioral disorder that manifested itself in this way, and it was previously documented.”

Officials said the autopsy report would not be released while the investigation was still in progress and added they were not yet prepared to exclude that charges could still be filed in the case though they did not characterize that possibility as likely.

“People can be held criminally responsible for accidents,” Bland said. “There are ways to violate the law even in an accidental situation and we’re going to still look into everything and make sure we get everything together and determine how to proceed.”

Bland said accusations from some Russian officials, widely reported in Russian media, that the boy’s adoptive mother, Laura Shatto, had intentionally killed the boy were not consistent with the evidence.

“When you get down to it, an intentional killing is not supported by the medical evidence in this case,” Bland said.

Michael Brown, an attorney hired to represent Alan and Laura Shatto shortly after Max’s death, told that Laura Shatto was home alone with the two boys, in the backyard and watching them play, when the accident occurred.

“She was watching them and she had to go to the bathroom,” Brown told.

“It wasn’t very long, and when she came back out, Max was lying on his back. And she said, ‘Oh, Max, what are you doing?’ And she reached down to pick him up and determined that he wasn’t breathing.”

Immediately, according to Brown, Laura Shatto called emergency services and tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the boy before the ambulance arrived and transported him to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Autopsy complete in death of Maxim Kuzmin

An autopsy and medical examiner’s report on the cause of death for a 3-year-old Russian boy who died at the home of his adoptive parents in Texas on January 21 has been completed, Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson told.

The sheriff scheduled a joint press conference “regarding the Max Shatto case” along with Ector County District Attorney (DA) Bobby Bland for 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT) Friday in Odessa, Texas.

“Don’t infer anything from us having a DA there,” Donaldson said, when asked if the presence of a District Attorney, the public prosecutor, was an indication there would be criminal charges in the case.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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