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In Russia, eight years for leaving baby in the middle of a highway

July 10, 2012 |  2:40 pm

MOSCOW -- The young mother cried when she heard the verdict Tuesday: eight years for leaving her baby in the middle of a busy highway at night, where she was expecting him to be run over and killed.

She knows it was wrong, she said. If she had a second chance, she wouldn't do it again. But eight years was too much.

"Everyone makes mistakes," she said, tears streaming down her face.     

Last June, after an alcohol-fueled fight with her parents, 24-year-old Yelena Osina and her brother Alexander, 21, took the younger of her two children, 9-month-old Roma, out to the poorly lighted highway, where cars often travel at high speeds. After placing him in the middle of the road, they hid in the bushes nearby.

But 10 minutes later, as Roma crawled on the highway, he appeared in a driver's headlights. The driver stopped and called the police. The siblings were arrested, charged with attempted murder and pleaded guilty.

When they were sentenced Tuesday, Alexander -- who physically placed Roma on the road -- received nine years in a maximum security prison.

Russian news reports said Osina and her family had traveled to Moscow from the Ulyanovsk region, about 550 miles to the east, to look for work. She was unemployed and living in a tiny, ramshackle trailer outside the Russian capital with her brother, mother and father, and two sons -- Roma and 2-year-old Artem.

Roma's father left soon after the boy was born, Osina's father told Channel One television. Osina testified that she decided to kill Roma after a fight with her parents. The newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the family criticized her for having children who kept the family mired in poverty.  

Roma and Artem are now living with a foster family, who declined to appear in public and told Channel One they have no plans to tell the baby his mother tried to kill him. 

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--Khristina Narizhnaya

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