Tense trial likely in baby’s death

By SCOTT NORTH

Herald Writer

On Aug. 20, 1999, Svetlana V. Andrusiv gave birth to a little girl in Everett.

This morning, she goes on trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

Andrusiv, a 19-year-old refugee from Ukraine, is facing allegations of infanticide. Snohomish County prosecutors allege the slender young woman with dark eyes hid her pregnancy and then snuffed out the girl’s life shortly after giving birth to the child, alone, in the bathroom of the north Everett home she shared with her family.

"The evidence is clear that the child was born alive and suffered severe traumatic injuries that caused death," deputy prosecutor Paul Stern said Monday.

An autopsy showed the girl died from asphyxia and chest injuries so severe that all of the baby’s ribs were either dislocated or broken, court papers say.

Opening statements were scheduled this morning. One of Andrusiv’s attorneys, public defender Susan Gaer, declined to talk about the defense she has planned.

Lawyers on both sides spent most of Monday seating a jury. The people picked to hear the case told lawyers that they expect the case to be disturbing.

Not only will the trial probe the death of a newborn, but jurors also will have to decide what should happen to a single mother, then 18, who allegedly killed her baby. If convicted, Andrusiv is facing anywhere from 10 to 18 years in prison.

Andrusiv and her family arrived in the United States from Ukraine in December 1998, settling first in Massachusetts. They came to Snohomish County just weeks before the child’s birth.

The case began when authorities were summoned by Andrusiv’s family and were shown the dead baby in a box.

Speaking through an interpreter, Andrusiv told police that the child was born headfirst into the toilet, and that several minutes passed before she attempted "some degree of resuscitative actions," according to court papers.

The injuries found on the baby’s body were inconsistent with damage that could have been caused by attempts to revive the child, and suggest damage caused by "crushing impact" or "aggressive gripping" of the newborn’s torso, prosecutors allege.

You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431or send e-mail to

north@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Driver arrested in fatal crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

The driver reportedly rear-ended Jeffrey Nissen as he slowed down for traffic. Nissen, 28, was ejected and died at the scene.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
3 charged with armed home invasion in Mountlake Terrace

Elan Lockett, Rodney Smith and Tyler Taylor were accused of holding a family at gunpoint and stealing their valuables in January.

PAWS Veterinarian Bethany Groves in the new surgery room at the newest PAWS location on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Snohomish hospital makes ‘massive difference’ for wild animals

Lynnwood’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society will soon move animals to its state of the art, 25-acre facility.

Traffic builds up at the intersection of 152nd St NE and 51st Ave S on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how Marysville will look in 20 years

Marysville is updating its comprehensive plan and wants the public to weigh in on road project priorities.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyko Matsumoto-Wright on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
With light rail coming soon, Mountlake Terrace’s moment is nearly here

The anticipated arrival of the northern Link expansion is another sign of a rapidly changing city.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead in motorcycle crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

Authorities didn’t have any immediate details about the crash that fully blocked the highway Friday afternoon.

Photographs in the 2024 Annual Black and White Photography Contest on display at the Schack Art Center on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Black and white photos aren’t old school for teens at Schack Art Center

The photography contest, in its 29th year, had over 170 entries. See it at the Schack in Everett through May 5.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mom charged with first-degree murder in death of son, 4

On Friday, prosecutors charged Janet Garcia, 27, three weeks after Ariel Garcia went missing from an Everett apartment.

Dr. Mary Templeton (Photo provided by Lake Stevens School District)
Lake Stevens selects new school superintendent

Mary Templeton, who holds the top job in the Washougal School District, will take over from Ken Collins this summer.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.