Woman admits beating death of adopted Russian orphan
MANASSAS, Va. – A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to beating to death a 2-year-old girl she had adopted from an orphanage in Siberia.Peggy Sue Hilt, 33, of Wake Forest, N.C., choked back tears as she entered the plea to second-degree murder. She could get up to 40 years in prison at sentencing May 25.The little girl, Nina, died in Manassas last summer after the family came to Virginia for the Fourth of July. A detective testified that Hilt admitted that she became upset with the girl for crying and dropped her on the floor, kicked her and jumped on her abdomen.By pleading guilty, Hilt avoided a possible first-degree murder charge and a life sentence.Prosecutor Paul Ebert said he expects to argue for the maximum sentence in the “horrible case.””For some reason this mother never bonded with the child … and for lack of a better word, went off on her,” Ebert said.Nina was adopted by Peggy and Christopher Hilt to join another girl, Nataliya, then 4, who had been adopted from the Ukraine. Nataliya has been taken away for her own protection.In response to Nina’s death, the Russian Ministry of Education, which oversees adoptions, called for mandatory training programs and psychological testing for foreigners who want to adopt.Russian nationalists often accuse foreigners of “buying” Russian children, some 260,000 of whom live in orphanages and similar facilities, and cases of abuse by foreign adoptive parents are widely reported in the Russian media.Vail, Colorado
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