US: No charges over dead Russian boy

2013-03-19 16:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The US adoptive parents of a Russian boy will not be criminally charged over his death, a Texas official said on Monday, after the 3-year-old's demise was deemed accidental.

Toddler Max Shatto's body was heavily bruised when he died at a hospital near the west Texas town of Gardendale in January.

Claims by Russian officials that the boy, born Maxim Kuzmin, was tortured and murdered by his adoptive mother whipped up a storm of controversy less than two months after Russia banned US adoptions.

But on Monday, Bobby Bland, the district attorney for Ector County, where Gardendale is located, said "there is no evidence to support holding anybody criminally responsible".

The local newspaper, the Odessa American, reported that Bland said a grand jury that looked into the case had found there was no evidence to indict the child's adoptive parents, Alan and Laura Shatto.

Doctors determined on 1 March that the bruises were self-inflicted. "Based on all medical reasonable probability, the manner of death is accidental," the Ector County Medical Examiner's Office said.

The coroner also noted that Max Shatto had a mental disorder that caused him to hurt himself.

The autopsy concluded that Max - whose mother found him unconscious in the backyard and rushed him to hospital - died from a lacerated artery in his bowel due to blunt force trauma in his abdomen.

Russian officials accused the US adoptive parents of doping the boy with "psychoactive drugs", though the toxicology report found no drugs or medicines in his system.

On 2 March thousands of people, including activists from pro-Kremlin children's advocacy groups, marched through Moscow urging authorities to ban all foreign adoptions and demanding the return of Max's 2-year-old brother, who is also being raised by the Shattos.

Read more on:    us  |  russia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.