Judge won’t change probation conditions for Maine woman who killed foster child

Posted May 15, 2013, at 3:42 p.m.
Last modified May 15, 2013, at 9:03 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Superior Court judge on Tuesday denied a motion to modify probation conditions for the woman who is still serving a 17-year sentence for manslaughter in the the asphyxiation death of her 5-year-old foster child in 2001.

Sally Ann Schofield , now 51, of Chelsea was convicted in 2002 in connection with the death of Logan Marr, according to previously published reports. The girl died in January 2001 after the former Maine Department of Health and Human Services caseworker disciplined the child for misbehavior.

The girl was found in a high chair in Schofield’s basement bound with 42 feet of duct tape, according to previously published reports. The tape partially covered her nostrils.

Schofield, who is due to be released in May 2017, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but 17 suspended and four years of probation. Under the state’s community confinement statute, Schofield could qualify at the end of this year to serve the remainder of her sentence outside prison because she will have served two-thirds of the unsuspended portion. It is up to the Department of Corrections commissioner to determine who qualifies for the program, the law states.

If Schofield were released to community or home confinement, she would be required to be at home or in a group home except for work, school, medical appointments, shopping and other necessary activities. She would be subject to the conditions of her probation, which include Schofield having no contact, direct or indirect, with children under 12.

Justice Michaela Murphy ruled from the bench Tuesday that it was too early to consider a modification of Schofield’s probation conditions, Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said Wednesday. The judge also said that the motion could be refiled closer to the time of Schofield’s release from the Women’s Center of the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.

Schofield’s attorney, Amanda Doherty of Portland, expressed concern in her motion that if released to home confinement Schofield would be considered in violation of her probation for incidental contact with children in a grocery store, doctor’s office or other location, Stokes said.

“It’s inconceivable to me that someone would be violated for that type contact,” he said. “In my opinion, it would be highly unusual for someone to be accused of violating their probation for that kind of incidental contact.”

Doherty said Wednesday that she filed her motion out of an abundance of caution.

“Just because people think that is not usual, given the nature of my client’s conviction and the publicity around it, she wants to make sure that she is not the first. She want to follow the conditions of her probation to a T.”