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WOMAN WHO KILLED SON TO GET ALIMONY

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A judge has decided Carroll Burns must pay $100 a month alimony to his ex-wife, who is in prison for the slaying of their only child.

Ok Kum Burns needs the money to pay her incidental expenses in prison and set up a nest egg for when she gets out, her attorney said."Am I going to help the person who murdered my son back on her feet? . . . She's the one who caused the tragedy," said Burns, a supply sergeant now stationed at McCon-nell Air Force Base. "The judge said we were the victims of a terrible tragedy, but she's the one who caused the tragedy."

Burns previously was stationed at Hill Air Force Base and lived in Layton, where last June his wife stabbed their 3-year-old son, Joshua, with a steak knife and then attempted to take her own life with pills.

Second District Judge Glen Daw-son's order, which was expected to be signed Tuesday, expires in a year. At that time it could be dropped or changed - even raised.

Ok Kum Burns, 33, a Korean immigrant, pleaded guilty to murder, but 2nd District Judge Rodney Page reduced it to second-degree manslaughter and sentenced her to one to 15 years in prison. She could be free as early as September.

Carroll Burns met her while on Air Force duty in South Korea in 1988. They came to the United States in 1990. Her attorney said she developed few working skills in Korea. She speaks little English and cannot drive.

"If she gets a job (after her release) that pays minimum wage, I'd be very surprised," said her attorney, Nelda Bishop.

When the marriage fell apart last year, the prospect of living alone in an alien culture drove the mother over the edge, Page said when he reduced her punishment.

She had signed tax forms presented by her husband that severed their financial relationship. Then, on the morning of June 18, she stabbed her son in his bed and swallowed a bottle of pills.

Carroll Burns sued for divorce a few months later and refused to pay alimony.

"I initially intended to support her, then she turns around and murders my son and expects me to support her," said Burns, who now lives in Wichita, Kan.

On April 13, the alimony dispute went before Dawson, who sided with the woman. Ok Kum Burns is entitled to alimony to cover her prison expenses and build a savings fund for life after prison, Bishop argued.

"It is a little nest egg, to pay for first and last months' rent and buy a bus pass," Bishop said.

Ok Kum Burns also needs the money to augment income from her 40-cents-an-hour prison job. She mops floors and cleans bathrooms - the same menial tasks she fled when she married Burns in Korea.

"She has to buy any toiletries that she'll need," Bishop said. "If she wants any shoes other than thongs she has to buy them. If she wants a TV she has to rent it."

Utah prison inmates not considered indigent must buy most amenities and some educational materials.