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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. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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