Scottsville woman sentenced in death of autistic daughter

By Heather Michon

A Scottsville woman charged earlier this year in the 2018 death of her daughter was sentenced in Fluvanna County Circuit Court on Friday (Oct. 2) to a term of 16 years.

Suzanne Ruth Mirsky, 50, was charged in February with second-degree murder in the death of her 19-year-old daughter, Kayla. She also faced multiple counts of child abuse and animal cruelty. She pleaded to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child abuse on June 22.

Kayla Mirsky was found dead at the family’s Scottsville home on December 12, 2018. At the time, Suzanne Mirsky said that Kayla, who was autistic, must have left the house in the middle of the night and become disoriented. The death was initially ruled accidental.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip said in an email that investigators suspected foul play from the start, and members from the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office, social services, Virginia State Police, and his office met periodically over the next year to try to piece together a picture of the Mirsky family.

Mirsky’s two minor children were eventually removed from the home. “After some time in foster care, the children began to describe the abuse they had all suffered at the hands of their mother, and what happened the night Kayla died,” said Haislip.

At the sentencing hearing, the children, now 14 and 17, testified to their own abuse, and said that Kalya often bore the brunt of the violence.

They told the court that on the night of her death, Mirsky forced Kayla to stand in the corner as punishment. When Kayla began to fall asleep and could no longer stand on her feet, her mother pushed her out of the house out and into the cold. She was found unresponsive in the yard the next morning.

Mirsky’s therapist testified that her client suffered from borderline personality disorder, a condition often marked by poor judgement, emotional instability, and lack of impulse control.

At the end of the testimony, Judge Richard E. Moore sentenced Mirsky to 10 years for manslaughter and five years for each count of child abuse. She will serve an active sentence of 16 years in prison.



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