MERIDIAN, Idaho — This article was written by Jacob Scholl of the Idaho Statesman.
An Ada County couple accused of starving and beating a 9-year-old boy to death have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Monique and Erik Osuna, of Meridian, appeared in court Monday morning and both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, according to Emily Lowe, spokesperson for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office. Erik Osuna also pleaded not guilty to one count of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
The two were charged after the death of 9-year-old Emrik Osuna, Erik’s biological son, on Sept. 2. Emrik did not have a pulse and was not breathing when police and paramedics arrived at the family’s Meridian apartment on Sept. 1. Emrik was pronounced dead at around 1:30 p.m. the next afternoon.
During a preliminary hearing in March, prosecutors showed numerous videos depicting the abuse Emrik Osuna endured before his death. The abuse was captured on “nanny cameras” that the couple had in their Meridian apartment, authorities said.
One video showed Emrik performing a wall-sit while Monique Osuna stood over him, screaming profanities and threatening to beat the child. Another video depicted Emrik doing a physical exercise in the kitchen before Erik Osuna appeared to hit the child with a belt in the back of the head.
Meridian Police Officer Scott Frazier was one of two officers who first arrived on scene. He said during the March hearing that Emrik had extensive bruising and signs of trauma on the lower half of his body. Frazier said the child looked sickly, and described Emrik as looking “very emaciated” and ill.
Both Osunas are being held at the Ada County Jail in lieu of $2 million bonds. Their trial is scheduled to start on Sept. 21.