Judge Sentences Mother of Boy Who Died After Being Shaken - 8 News NOW

Judge Sentences Mother of Boy Who Died After Being Shaken

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Monique Bork Monique Bork

LAS VEGAS -- After years of waiting for arrests, and sitting in court rooms, two grieving adoptive mothers say justice has finally been served.

Their son, Brayden Grusman-Buckmaster, died at 5 years old from injuries he suffered when he was shaken as a baby. On Wednesday, a judge sentenced his birth mother, Monique Bork, to up to 20 years in prison in connection with the boy's death.

Prosecutors say it was Bork's boyfriend at the time, Edward Thompson, who shook the baby.

A jury found Thompson guilty of murder on Monday, and he faces up to 20 years to life in prison.

However, prosecutors say Bork tried to cover up the crime and deserved the maximum possible sentence.

Brayden Grusman-Buckmaster came into the world healthy.

"Brayden was the most caring, loving little child you will ever meet," adoptive mother Gayle Grusman said.

But after Thompson shook him to stop him from crying, Brayden was never the same.

His brain swelled. He had seizures. The injuries eventually lead to his death at 5 years old.

"He couldn't talk really. He couldn't walk. He had cerebral palsy, but he called us mom. Every night, he said 'love you' every night," Grusman said.

Gayle Grusman and her partner, Tish Buckmaster, were back in court Wednesday. For years, they've been waiting for justice.

"I don't think that is enough because our son will never see 20, and she is just as responsible," Grusman said.

Bork's lawyer argued she was a victim of an abusive relationship and afraid to come forward when her then boyfriend admitted to shaking Brayden.

"She had been beaten by him. She had been kicked by him, threatened by him and had a gun held to her head by him," assistant special public defender Randy Pike said.

Bork, trembling, read from a prepared letter. She admitted she made mistakes, but begged for a suspended sentence and parole.

"I wish more than anything I could take what I know now and tell it to the 20-year-old me back then. My son would be here today and I would not be in this courtroom," Bork said.

Following the statement, the judge issued the sentence of 20 years in prison with the possibility of parole after eight years.

With that sentence, two-and-a-half years after the death of her beloved adopted son, Gayle Grusman allowed herself a quick, silent celebration.

"I don't believe it yet, don't believe it yet, thank God is how I feel, thank God," Grusman said.

She says her and her partner's wait for justice is finally over.

Monique Bork's attorney says the sentencing was too harsh, but says they have not decided if they will appeal the decision.

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