Case Update: Father of Murdered Idaho 9-Year-Old, Emrik Osuna, Deemed Incompetent to Stand Trial

Emrik Osuna
Emrik Osuna.

Emrik Osuna was pronounced dead on September 2, 2020 after being rushed to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. The nine-year-old boy, who loved Transformers and superheroes, was allegedly subjected to torture for the final months of his life, including physical beatings, starvation, being locked in closets, and being forced to exercise excessively as punishment. 

The same day, Emrik’s stepmother, 28-year-old Monique Osuna, was arrested and charged with felony murder in her stepson’s death. His father, Erik Osuna-Gutierrez, was also arrested; accused of knowing about, permitting, and attempting to conceal evidence of his son’s abuse, neglect, starvation, and torture; and charged with felony injury to a child, felony infliction of great bodily injury, and misdemeanor concealment of evidence. A month later, Erik was also charged with felony murder.

According to prosecutors, both of them knew Emrik was in dire need of medical assistance but waited several hours before calling 911. 

Both Erik and Monique have been held at the Ada County Jail since their arrests.

At a hearing on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, an evaluator testified that Erik is not mentally competent to stand trial. His specific mental issues or diagnoses are unknown. Under Idaho law, a defendant must have the mental capacity to understand court proceedings and to assist in his own defense. 

Emrik Osuna
This photo of Emrik eating hurts my heart.

KTVB 7 reported that Idaho does not have an insanity defense under which a defendant could be found not guilty by reason of insanity; when someone is ruled incompetent to stand trial, he is generally held in county jail, a state hospital, or an Idaho Department of Corrections facility, where he will receive treatment for his mental health issues. During treatment, if evaluators determine he has regained competency, his case will move forward.

For both defendants, a status conference has been scheduled for February 24 and a preliminary hearing for March 3.

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Emrik’s story.

Sources: KTVB 7, Idaho News

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