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'Unspeakable, unforgettable, evil': Meridian man sentenced to life in prison for death of 9-year-old son

Erik Osuna will spend the rest of his life in prison for the death of his abused son, Emrik, in 2020.

BOISE, Idaho — Erik Osuna, a Meridian father who pleaded guilty to murdering and abusing his 9-year-old son, will spend his life in prison after being sentenced by Ada County District Judge Steven Hippler on Thursday.

Osuna was sentenced following his wife, Monique Osuna -- she was also sentenced to life in prison in June of this year after the two were charged with murder, destruction of evidence and bodily injury in the beating death of their son, Emrik Osuna.

In court Thursday, witnesses testified to Erik Osuna having "lower than average intelligence" and "executive function deficits" as well as having a tumultuous, abusive childhood. His defense asked for 20 years in prison, followed by five years of parole.

Hippler called the abuse "unspeakable," "unforgettable," and "evil."

He said that Emrik Osuna was abandoned by those who were supposed to love him.

Erik Osuna's son faced months of emotional, verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother according to prosecutors until he died at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital on Sept. 2, 2020. He was discovered earlier by emergency services in his home, covered in bruises and his own vomit, prosecutors said.

Nanny cameras inside the home played in court show Monique Osuna making her stepson exercise for hours on end, starving him, beating him with a frying pan and cursing at the child even as Emrik Osuna pleaded with her, "But mom, I don't want to starve to death."

Detectives told the court back in June that the hardest thing they had to watch was Emrik Osuna plead to God and ask why the abuse was happening to him.

RELATED: ‘He starts talking to God’: Stepmom sentenced to life in prison for murder, abuse of nine year old

Emrik Osuna's father did not intervene or stop the abuse, videos shown in the courtroom depicted, even when it was clear the child was on the edge of death.

Erik Osuna is seen approaching his son in one former video -- who had collapsed unconscious on the kitchen floor in exhaustion after hours of forced exercise -- to wake him up and tell him to keep going. 

Erik Osuna later told police that his son had begun throwing up the morning of Sept. 1 after his stepmother beat him with a dog leash. Monique Osuna then made the child do a one-legged stand, for some time, but eventually allowed Emrik Osuna to lie down on the floor, KTVB previously reported.

RELATED: Nanny cameras captured abuse of Meridian boy at center of murder case

The 9-year-old's condition worsened through the day. Around 5 p.m., Erik Osuna texted his wife that they should take their son to the emergency room, but neither adult sought medical attention for the boy. Emrik Osuna later died in the hospital, weighing nearly half the average body weight for someone his age at the time, a doctor told the court previously.

Erik Osuna made a statement to the judge on Thursday -- he said he failed as a father and a caregiver and was willing to "pay whatever price" for the crimes he inflicted upon his son two years ago.

RELATED: 'Before I knew it, I was abusing him:' Stepmother pleads guilty to murder in Meridian boy's death

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