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Father of 9-Year-Old Boy Pleads Guilty to Murder After Stepmother Forced Child to Exercise for Up to 20 Hours at a Time

Booking photo of Erik Emmanuel Osuna.

Erik Emmanuel Osuna.

The father of a slain Idaho boy has reportedly pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Authorities say Erik Emmanuel Osuna, 31, enabled his wife Monique Desiree Osuna, 29, who admitted she fatally abused Erik’s son Emrik Osuna, 9. The couple faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a sentencing hearing set for June 9, according to KTVB.

Monique Osuna, the stepmother, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February. She admitted to striking Emrik with a metal spoon, her hands, and a frying pan to force him to keep exercising. She then admittedly forced the boy to engage in physical activities to a torturous extent.

“Each day, I would say over 12 hours a day, or thereabouts,” Meridian Police Detective Matthew Ferronato previously testified. “Sometimes it would go on, 20-plus hours of constant exercise.”

Monique Osuna construed the abuse as acts of “discipline” that got out of hand.

Booking photo of Monique Desiree Osuna.

Monique Desiree Osuna.

Nanny cameras also showed that Monique beat the child for weeks — and even dragged him by the hair and made him sleep in a closet.

“Unfortunately, my discipline of him escalated,” Monique wrote. “Before I knew it, I was abusing him, and that abuse killed him.”

And yet Erika Osuna allegedly did nothing — and indeed facilitated the abuse. Video reportedly showed an instance in which Emrik fell unconscious after hours of exercise, but his father instead just went up to him to wake him up and told him to keep going.

Erik, weighing 44 pounds, lingered for hours on Sept. 1, 2020 after Monique is said to have beaten him with a dog leash. He began to throw up. Monique forced him to do a one-legged stand and then let him lie on the floor. Emrik got worse. Erik texted Monique at around 5:00 p.m. that they should get him to the ER, authorities said. Even so, neither parent looked for medical attention until Emrik stopped breathing at 9:40 p.m. and Erik called 911. Even then, the father told someone else to get rid of the nanny cameras before first responders arrived, authorities said.

[Booking photos via Ada County Jail]

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