BELFAST, Maine — A Troy mother charged with murder in the death of her 7-week-old son told investigators that she believed one of her autistic sons may have smothered and beaten their youngest brother, according to court records.
Miranda Hopkins, 32, made her first appearance in Belfast District Court late Tuesday afternoon.
The infant, Jaxson Hopkins, died of blunt force injuries to the head, and he also suffered broken ribs, a broken hip and shoulder and extensive bruising, according to court documents.
Police arrested Miranda Hopkins at her home on Friday, the day after she called 911 to report she woke to find Jaxson unresponsive.
The infant, born Nov. 21, 2016, was pronounced dead at the home about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and state police detectives were called in to investigate, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said last week. Emergency responders’ efforts to revive the child were unsuccessful.
The state medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy Thursday, but the cause of death wasn’t released until it appeared in court records.
Hopkins’ two other sons, ages 6 and 8, also lived at the North Dixmont Road mobile home. The boys, who are both autistic, are now staying with relatives, according to McCausland.
When police first questioned Hopkins, she allegedly said she had a couple shots of whisky with a friend over the course of the afternoon and took a Benadryl earlier in the day. She said she co-slept with the infant and woke up to a “nightmare” about 1:45 a.m. Jan. 12, according to court documents. She found the baby cold, unresponsive and covered in bruises.
Initially she told police she believed one of her sons — who co-slept with her until Jaxson was born — had gotten past a child-proof barrier and crawled into the bed and “smothered” the infant, according to court documents.
As police questioned Hopkins, she “eventually accepted that her version of events did not make sense and were not plausible,” but she couldn’t remember what happened that night, according to court records. She allegedly reiterated her belief that one of the other children had harmed Jaxson.
After her arrest, Hopkins told investigators she had more to drink than she initially said, but she “was nervous and scared to say that she was so affected by the alcohol she drank that night,” according to the affidavit. She also allegedly said she “passed out” and had never “snapped” in anger with her children.
Friends who saw Hopkins and the baby in the days leading up to the infant’s death told investigators they didn’t see any signs of injury at the time.
“When confronted, Miranda stated that she knew she was responsible, regardless of what happened to Jaxson,” according to the affidavit written by Maine State Police Detective Jason Andrews.
In their written complaint, the prosecution argues that Hopkins either caused the infant’s death or showed “depraved indifference to the value of human life, which in fact caused the death of Jaxson Hopkins.”
Miranda Hopkins is being held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.
Justice Robert Murray assigned a defense attorney to the case and set the bail hearing date for Monday. Hopkins is likely to be arraigned on the murder charge in late February.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.