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Father gets 18 years for death of his son, 5

A local man accused of murdering his 5-year-old son will spend 18 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.

Kalman Eteuati, 27, of outer Southeast Portland pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter on Monday, May 20, in connection to the death of his son, Mahonarye Noa. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Eric Bergstrom then sentenced Eteuati to 260 months, or 18 years, in prison.

Police arrested Eteuati and his wife, Valisha Eteuati, 28, on June 18, 2012, on charges of murder by abuse four days after they took Noa to Portland Adventist Medical Center claiming he'd been injured during a fall. Doctors didn't believe them and contacted police. The boy died shortly after arriving. Medical examiners determined he'd died of battered child syndrome.

His parents lived in an apartment in the 16900 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard with Noa and their three other children, including two girls, ages 7 and 2, and another son, 6, at the time of the boy's death. Those children were taken into state custody. Although the state never received any complaints about abuse involving Noa, it did investigate complaints to child abuse hotlines in Oregon and Washington regarding the physical abuse and neglect of the other boy and the oldest girl. The complaint was deemed unfounded.

Following Noa's death, a grand jury indicted his parents on charges of murder by abuse, finding that they caused the boy's death "by neglect and maltreatment," according to court records.

During his court hearing, Eteuati didn't make any statements, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter for failing to provide adequate medical care for the little boy.

Prosecutor Lori Fellows said Eteuati has displayed "the greatest failing as a parent" for "having a hand in your own child's death."

Noa, a lively little boy, "had the right to have a life full of love and laughter," Fellows said.

Valisha Eteuati is scheduled to enter a plea Tuesday, May 21. The court will not release the details of her agreement until then.

The maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter, which is a Measure 11 offense, is 20 years in prison. The minimum sentence for murder is 25 years.

About a dozen relatives, including children, sat in the courtroom for Eteuati's hearing. A few called out, "I love you," as deputies escorted Eteuati out in handcuffs and leg chains.




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