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State v. Muro

269 Neb. 703 (2005)

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State v. Muro

Nebraska Supreme Court

269 Neb. 703 (2005)

Facts

Susana Muro (defendant) left her eight-month-old daughter, Vivianna, at home with her husband for a few hours. Upon returning, Muro noticed that Vivianna was unresponsive but did not take Vivianna to the hospital until four hours later. Doctors determined that Vivianna was brain dead due to a fracture to the skull, and she was taken off life support. The applicable child-abuse statute provided for degrees of penalties for felony child abuse depending on the level of harm caused by the abuse. Muro was charged with felony child abuse resulting in death. At trial, experts testified that by the time Vivianna arrived at the hospital, there was little chance of her survival. The experts further testified that had Muro sought treatment sooner, there would have been a chance for Vivianna’s survival, although no expert was able to testify whether survival was probable rather than just possible. The District Court for Dawson County convicted Muro of child abuse resulting in death and sentenced her to 20 years’ imprisonment. The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed. Muro appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stephan, J.)

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