An Idaho woman has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2020 murder of her 9-year-old stepson.
Monique Osuna, 29, pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree in February of this year. She admitted to killing her stepson — who she said she never wanted — through a multifaceted and voluminous pattern of abuse that culminated in his death in September 2020.
Emrik Osuna came to live with Monique and his biological father, Erik Emmanuel Osuna, 31, in February 2018. The boy actually made the move after escaping a distressingly similar scenario in California: his biological mother, Sacil Siglaly Lucero, was convicted of severely beating, torturing, and injuring his infant twin brother and sister.
But when Emrik moved from the Golden State to the Gem State, he quickly found that what was supposed to be his new life was just a sad variation of the life he had left behind.
“He wasn’t part of the family,” Ada County District Judge Steven Hippler said during a sentencing hearing on June 9, 2022, in comments reported by the Idaho Statesman. “He wasn’t loved. He was an inconvenience to the family. In the end, Emrik’s body wasted away.”
More than wasting away, the boy died from what amounted to prolonged torture. As Law&Crime previously reported, Emrik was forced to exercise for hours on end, often for more than 12 and sometimes up to 20 hours at a time, including pushups, jumping jacks, wall-sits, and inchworm exercises. Five days before he died, Monique Osuna began starving him.
Monique also regularly subjected the child to direct physical abuse. She beat him with her hands and various household items like a belt, a dog leash, a frying pan, and a metal spoon. She dragged him by the hair and kicked him in his crotch.
Emrik spent the last night of his life locked up in a closet, where he was often forced to sleep without any sort of bedding.
He weighed 44 pounds when he died.
Erik Osuna pleaded guilty to murder in March of this year. He was charged for facilitating the abuse – largely by knowing about it and doing nothing. On at least one instance, however, Erik woke up his son and told him to get back to exercising.
“I know what I did was wrong,” Monique Osuna said through tears during Thursday’s sentencing hearing. “I know I can’t bring him back – I can’t undo any of my actions.”
The judge described the defendant as “sadistic, evil and heartless,” according to Boise, Idaho CBS affiliate KBOI.
Authorities alleged, and the stepmother later admitted, that she did it all in order to discipline the boy.
“Unfortunately, my discipline of him escalated,” she earlier wrote in a written confession. “Before I knew it, I was abusing him, and that abuse killed him.”
During the sentencing hearing, Ada County prosecutors John Dinger and Tamera Brooke Kelly played more than a dozen video clips from nanny cameras that documented the months of hellish torture the young boy endured. The courtroom reportedly remained silent for over an hour as that grim footage played on and on, the Statesman reported, while the defendant reportedly cast her eyes down and covered her face with her hair to avoid watching what she had done, occasionally wiping away an errant tear.
“You’re on my shit list for the rest of your life,” Monique Osuna said to the boy in one such clip dated Aug. 24, 2020.
His life would only last eight more days.
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via Ada County Sheriff’s Office]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]