Two women released from state supervision after death, beating of daughters

Posted Nov. 05, 2011, at 2:48 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 05, 2011, at 4:16 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Two women who were found not criminally responsible for attacks on their daughters were discharged from state supervision this week.

Maria Austin, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1997 beating death of her 4-year-old daughter in their Farmingdale home, and Paula Tarbox, who was placed in the custody of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services six months after the July 2004 stabbing of her sleeping 11-year-old daughter in Portland, had both been working toward a full discharge for the past few years.

Justice Donald Marden approved the discharges, recommended by Riverview Psychiatric Center staff and the State Forensic Service, at the close of separate hearings in Kennebec County Superior Court.

“It’s not often I can stand before you and support the discharge of someone who caused the death of another human being,” Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, who represents the state at many hearings involving people committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center, said in court Friday, according to the Kennebec Journal.

Stokes told Marden that he had been in court for Austin’s case many times over the years.

“She is a remarkable story of recovery,” Stokes said.

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