Deal Sees Woman Who Drowned Son Charged With Manslaughter

The woman accused of killing her 4-year-old son in the water off the Bat Yam beach last August will be charged with manslaughter and not murder under a plea arrangement between her lawyer and the prosecution in the case. The prosecution notified the Tel Aviv District court of the plea agreement yesterday.

The deal stipulates that Olga Borisov will admit to killing her son and will be convicted of manslaughter, although each side will be free to present arguments regarding the appropriate punishment.

"That's very good news," Borisov's husband, Ilan Yehuda, told Haaretz yesterday. "I am pleased that finally someone is listening to her and someone understands her. She mostly cries a lot on the phone. She says it's a relief from a legal standpoint, but not with regard to how she feels. Her feelings are very difficult."

According to the original indictment against Borisov, one night in August of last year she took her sleeping son, Alon, into her arms and walked into the sea. According to the charge sheet, the boy woke up and complained that he was cold, but his mother proceeded into deeper water, abandoning him where she thought he could no longer save himself.

After leaving the water, she purportedly told passersby that she had drowned her son. The original indictment also states that her son suffered from developmental difficulties and behavior problems, but her husband told Haaretz his wife was not depressed because of the boy, but because of a sense of isolation.

"She was with me," Yehuda said, "but it seems that was not enough."

Despite the charges against his wife, Yehuda has stood by her.

"I love that women," he said. "This woman is a good mother, an exemplary woman in many respects. It's just her emotional state, her depression, which she has had over time. It's a condition that psychiatrists didn't understand. This woman cried out with depression and no doctor understood her."

Yehuda said that after a suicide attempt and a period of psychosis, doctors gave her medication, but didn't explain to her that she was not to stop treatment.

"No doctor told her 'if you stop, it will put you in worse shape'," he said.

Despite Borisov's contention that she was depressed and under the influence of psychiatric medication, she was found fit to stand trial. The plea agreement and amended indictment will be presented to the court on July 12.