Nebraska couple gets probation in death of ‘severely malnourished’ baby

A Nebraska couple has been sentenced to five years of probation for the death of one of their malnourished infant twin daughters.

David Krutina Jr., 24, and Kassandra Krutina, 21, were also ordered Monday to perform 80 hours of community service, participate in a trauma group, attend counseling as ordered by a doctor, release all medical records for the couple’s other children and notify the probation office of the results from all medical appointments, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The couple lives in Louisville, a city located about 30 miles southwest of Omaha.

They pleaded guilty in August to two counts of negligent child abuse causing serious injury. The couple had originally been charged with child abuse negligence resulting in death and faced up to 23 years in prison, according to the newspaper.

Prosecutors reduced the charges in return for the Krutinas' guilty pleas.

The charges stem from the death of their 6-month-old daughter, Samantha. The Krutinas took her and her twin sister, Charlotte, to a hospital on Sept. 1, 2018. Both were underweight, and Samantha died.

Doctors and law enforcement officials in the case called the babies “severely malnourished,” the newspaper reported.

An autopsy showed Samantha died of a bacterial infection caused by malnourishment.

Members of a child advocacy team that convened at the hospital after the baby’s death called it “one of the worst cases of neglect they have encountered,” according to the Omaha World-Herald, citing an affidavit filed in Cass County Court.

Cass County Judge Lawrence Gendler said he would decide during a December hearing whether Charlotte, who is being cared for by relatives, will be returned to the couple, the newspaper reported. Two older children remained with their parents.

The twin girls were born premature at 27 weeks and weighed slightly more than 2 pounds each, spending two months in a neonatal intensive care unit, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

Four months after being sent home with their parents, the twins reportedly weighed around the same amount as when they left the NICU, according to the paper.

This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.