May 27, 2018
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Lawyer for Marissa Kennedy’s mother claims state lied to get school records

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
The attorney representing Sharon Carrillo says prosecutors were “dishonest and deceitful” in their effort to gather her records from a New York school. Sharon and her husband Julio Carrillo are accused in the February beating death of Sharon's 10-year-old daughter Marissa Kennedy.
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff
Updated:

An attorney representing a mother accused of murder in the beating death of her 10-year-old daughter says prosecutors were “dishonest and deceitful” in their effort to gather records from a New York school.

Sharon and her husband, Julio Carrillo, are charged with depraved indifference murder in the death of Sharon’s daughter, Marissa Kennedy.

Earlier this month, a state police detective collecting evidence in the case requested records related to Sharon Carrillo from the Maplebrook School in Amenia, New York, a private boarding school for students with learning disabilities, according to court records. Carrillo, then called Sharon Kennedy, was once a student at Maplebrook.

When the head of the school declined to send the records, citing student privacy laws, the Attorney General’s Office sent a subpoena, which stated that the head of school would have to appear to testify in a Belfast courthouse on April 6, unless she complied with the subpoena.

The school sent the documents, which included a psychological evaluation.

On Wednesday, Laura Shaw, an attorney representing Sharon Carrillo, filed a motion asking a judge to toss out those records and prevent them from being used in the case. Shaw claims prosecutors were “dishonest and deceitful” in their efforts to obtain the documents.

Shaw argued that a Maine subpoena has “no authority to command the production of documents outside of the state of Maine.” She also claimed prosecutors didn’t follow proper procedure in requesting evidence that included confidential information. In addition, court records on file don’t show any April 6 court proceedings scheduled in relation to the Carrillo case.

“This conduct would be egregious if committed by any member of the bar,” Shaw wrote. “However, it is especially egregious when it is committed by a prosecutor.”

The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on Friday.

Prosecutors allege that Sharon and Julio Carrillo beat Marissa Kennedy on a daily basis for months, until she ultimately succumbed to her injuries in late February inside the Stockton Springs condominium owned by Sharon’s parents.

Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys have questioned to what extent she was involved in Marissa’s alleged beatings, arguing that she was a victim of frequent mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband as well.

Steven Peterson, the defense attorney representing Julio Carrillo, said Friday that he’s received early discovery evidence from prosecutors, which includes recordings of the 911 call, the crime scene walkthrough and 10 to 12 hours of recorded interviews, according to Peterson. He said he hasn’t yet reviewed the content.

Peterson said he’s conferred with his client several times at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset since his arrest.

“He denies without any question that he did this,” Peterson said Friday.

He declined to provide details of what Julio Carrillo said happened leading up to Marissa’s death, but did say that “after 10 to 12 hours of interviewing, at some point you may say things you wish you hadn’t said.”

The Carrillos are expected to appear in court on April 2 to be arraigned on charges of depraved indifference murder. Both are expected to enter pleas of “not guilty,” according to the defense attorneys.

The state has requested that both Carrillos undergo forensic psychological evaluations, though only Sharon Carrillo’s had been ordered by a judge as of Friday.

Both defense attorneys have indicated that their clients’ apparent intellectual disabilities could become key factors in the case. Both Carrillos were in special education courses throughout school, and are believed to have learning disabilities or mental illness, according to court records.

Sharon Carrillo’s evaluation must happen within 45 days of the judge’s order, which came last week. The results of that evaluation will likely be sealed by the court.

Meanwhile, the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee on Friday approved issuing subpoenas to four entities in relation to a separate investigation of the child’s death. The subpoenas will go to the Bangor School Department, Searsport Elementary School, the Maine Department of Education and Child Development Services.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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