Mother Who Killed Son for Wetting the Bed Gets 40 Years
A South Dakota woman who tortured and killed her 2-year-old son for wetting the bed has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.
Katrina Shangreaux, 30, of Porcupine, murdered her son Kylen because he wet the bed and then accidentally called his mother by the name of his aunt, in whose custody he had been living.
Shangreaux pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of her son in a brutal beating on July 28, 2016.
She was originally charged with first-degree murder, felony child abuse (aggravated battery of an infant), and felony child abuse and neglect. The suggested maximum penalty for the lesser charge is 33 years, while Shangreaux could have gotten life for the original charges.
In her confession, Shangreaux admitted to beating her child with a studded belt, striking and kicking him, biting him, mutilating his genitals, and burning him with a cigarette, Rapid City Journal reported.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins said the boy had 111 separate injuries, including broken ribs, and internal bleeding in his brain and abdomen. Seventy percent of his body was covered with bruises.
Dr. Donald Habbe, who performed the autopsy, said the bruises were so bad they contributed significantly to his death—the volume of blood pooling in the bruises deprived his organs of needed circulation, Rapid City Journal reported.
The child had been dead for three hours before his mother called 911, the prosecutor said. Shangreaux and her mother, Sonya Dubray, tried to clean the boy’s body and the crime scene before calling for help.
Dubray was arrested on charges including accessory to murder and tampering with evidence. Her trial is scheduled for November.
‘I Don’t Want Him’
Katrina Shangreaux told her maternal aunt Gloria No Neck, that she did not want the child, even before he was born.
“Auntie, I wanna give you my baby. I don’t want him,” Shangreaux told her aunt, according to Indianz.com.
No Neck took Kylen home from the hospital shortly after his birth in November 2013.
No Neck and her husband raised Kylen for the next 14 months. Eventually, the couple got fed up with Katrina and her husband James coming over unannounced, drunk and high, and taking Kylen without warning.
When No Neck decided she could no longer raise the child, Kylen’s paternal aunt, Angie Shangreaux and her mother took the child into their home.
A Safe Year With His Aunt
Kylen Shangreaux lived with his aunt Angie Shangreaux for another 14 months and was apparently thriving.
Angie Shangreaux, 38, and her mother Patti Shangreaux, said the child was very much loved in their household. They described how he would run around happily in his diaper, listening to music on a set of headphones.
When Kylen was about a year and half old, Katrina Shangreaux launched a custody battle in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation tribal courts. Hearings went on for about a year before Katrina was granted custody of Kylen in June 2016.
Less than two months later, she murdered him.
The three judges who decided to give Kylen to Katrina Shangreaux were all terminated after a hearing on Oct. 3, 2016, DRG News reported.
“Katrina was really not that involved, she was a non-participating parent while living at my parents’ house. She stayed up in her room the whole time,” Angie Shangreaux told Native Sun News.
“She did not cook, bathe, play with, or even change Kylen’s diapers.”
Pleas for Justice and Mercy
Angie Shangreaux, who had raised Kylen for most of his life, told U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Viken, “You’re the last person who can give Kylen the justice he deserves.
“I’m begging for what would be a lifelong sentence for her.”
Shangreaux started a Facebook page, Justice for Kylen, dedicated to keeping alive the child’s memory, and of course, raising support for a strong sentence for his killer.
Angie told Indianz.com, “The fact that she [Katrina] despised me really fueled her attacking Kylen. She didn’t like me. She saw the relationship that I had with him. She wanted that,” said Angela. “She’s a drug addict and alcoholic.”
Katrina Shangreaux had admitted that she had consumed a lot of alcohol and painkillers before the beating.
As she was returning to her seat after addressing the judge, Angie Shangreaux told Katrina, “I hate you. I will never forgive you … You deserve hell.”
Katrina Shangreaux told the judge that living without the son she had murdered was the worst punishment she could imagine.
“Not a second, not a minute goes by every day that I don’t think about losing him.”
She claimed that Kylen’s fatal beating was “one day that went wrong,” Katrina told the judge.
Judge Viken gave Shangreaux 40 years, seven more than the recommended maximum, saying her crime was “unusually heinous.”
Katrina Shangreaux’s husband, James Shangreaux, was already in jail, serving a ten-year sentence for beating and abusing his child from a prior marriage, Rapid City Journal reported.
James Shangreaux, 34, pleaded guilty in January to felony child abuse and neglect for his part in the death of his 20-month-old son with Emily Rouillard.
Court documents reported that Shangreaux’ inflicted head and abdominal injuries on the toddler in March 2015, causing brain damage and internal bleeding.
Shangreaux’s plea deal got him out from under a charge of first-degree murder. The deal was allowed because both the child’s mother, and her boyfriend, Robert Red Shirt, took part in beating the boy.
As part of a written confession, Shangreaux stated that he raised his son in an “injurious environment” and took little or no care for his well-being.
Shangreaux waived a jury trial and appeared before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken—the same judge who would later sentence his next wife, the mother—and murderer—of his other young son.
Because of the plea deal, Judge Viken could only impose a ten-year sentence, and three years of supervised probation.