|Steven Mark pleads guilty in daughter’s death|
|Tuesday, September 11, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Mt. Juliet resident Steven Mark pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to child abuse charges for his role in the facilitation of abuse and failure to protect his and his wife Deborah Mark’s adopted 4-year-old adopted daughter Kairissa, who died on July 2, 2010.
According to Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink, Mark pleaded guilty to two counts of facilitation of aggravated child abuse, one count of aggravated assault by failure to protect and one count of child abuse of a child less than 8 years old.
Judge David Durham sentenced Mark to 32 years in the state penitentiary.
“His co-defendant Deborah Mark, was tried and convicted of felony murder and multiple counts of aggravated child abuse in Wilson County in December 2011,” Swink said. He added Deborah Mark was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years to run consecutive with the life sentence.
Swink said Kairissa, who the Marks adopted from China in April 2010, died as a result of injuries sustained from an ongoing pattern of abuse.
“An autopsy was performed on Kairissa, listing the cause of death as acute and chronic blunt trauma injuries, manner of death was homicide,” Swink noted.
On June 30, 2010, Deborah Mark reportedly threw Kairissa onto a mattress and the child’s head hit the wall. Kairissa was taken to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital that night and later died from her injuries.
The case was investigated by the Mt. Juliet Police Department with assistance from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and the Lebanon Police Department.