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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

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A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.

Kimberly Kubina faced numerous charges after her stepson Christian Choate died in 2009. The boy was repeatedly abused and beaten by his father, which Kubina did not stop or report. The boy was kept locked up and only let out of the room or a dog cage to eat, use the restroom or exercise. After his death, she helped dispose of the boy’s body.

Kubina pleaded guilty to one count of Class A felony neglect of a dependent and received 35 years incarceration. In Kimberly Kubina v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1303-CR-100, she argued that the trial court abused its discretion when it found aggravating and mitigating circumstances during sentencing.

She believed the trial court improperly took into account her position of trust with the boy when determining aggravating factors. The statute she was convicted under requires that Kubina have had “care of a dependent.”

“Kubina had more than mere care of Christian; she was a stepparent involved in Christian’s upbringing and living in the same home with him, and directly assisted (father Riley) Choate in Christian’s abuse on numerous occasions,” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote. “The trial court noted several of these facts, as well as the nature of Christian’s ‘long, lingering, torturous death.’ We thus find no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s finding that Kubina was in a position of trust with Christian.”

The judges also found no abuse of discretion when the trial judge only took into account as a mitigating factor that Kubina lacked a criminal history.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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