The Stockton Springs husband and wife accused of beating 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy to death are expected to plead not guilty Monday following their arraignment on charges of depraved indifference murder, according to their attorneys.
Prosecutors say Sharon and Julio Carrillo beat Sharon’s daughter on a nearly daily basis for months, until the girl succumbed to her injuries. Julio Carrillo was Marissa’s stepfather.
The couple allegedly refused to get Marissa medical help when she could no longer speak correctly or move and, after her death, attempted to stage a scene in the basement to make it appear as if Marissa had fallen.
The Carrillos’ attorneys have questioned the state’s version of events, and have suggested that their clients’ mental health and intellect could play significant roles in the case.
Sharon Carrillo is scheduled to undergo a forensic psychological examination on April 20 at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, according to court records. The results of that exam likely will be sealed by the court. Her attorney, Christopher MacLean, has claimed in court proceedings that she has registered 70-75 on IQ tests, which would qualify as “borderline intellectual deficiency” on IQ scales.
The state has also requested a mental evaluation for Julio Carrillo, but a judge has yet to approve that.
Julio Carrillo will soon have a new attorney, Darrick X. Banda of Augusta. Rockport-based defense attorney Stephen Peterson, who has been representing Carrillo since his first court appearance on Feb. 28, filed a motion Thursday seeking to withdraw from the case, explaining that Carrillo’s family had hired Banda as private counsel.
Peterson hasn’t been as active early on as Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys. He’s been preparing to represent Victoria Scott, a 24-year-old accused of stabbing a Belmont man to death, in a manslaughter trial scheduled to start April 23.
Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys successfully challenged prosecutors’ efforts to gather out-of-state records tied to their client, and may try to have the attorney general’s office disqualified from prosecuting her case.
Superior Court Justice Robert Murray ruled on March 28 that prosecutors hadn’t followed proper procedure when they subpoenaed Sharon Carrillo’s former school and former employer in New York. Murray ordered that paper records the state received as a result of that subpoena be sealed and turned over to the court. He also ordered that digital records be destroyed.
Prosecutors, who acknowledged the error, also had to file affidavits detailing who had access to the school records before they were sealed and handed over to the court. Records subpoenaed from Walmart, where the couple worked, never arrived because the state rescinded its subpoena after the defense challenged it.
As of Friday, seven people working with the prosecution filed affidavits detailing their contact with the records. Those included assistant attorneys general Leane Zainea and Donald Macomber, a legal aide, a trial assistant and Maine State Police detectives.
Zainea, who has agreed that state investigators didn’t follow the proper subpoena process, claimed she “glanced at the records by fanning through the pages” but didn’t review the content. She said she never opened an attachment that included records sent separately by email.
Macomber, who signed the erroneous subpoenas, said he “skimmed” through the emailed records, noting a reference to “low-average intelligence.” When the defense filed a motion to block the records, citing the rules around interstate subpoenas, “I realized that I had made a mistake,” Macomber wrote.
Prosecutors said they deleted emails containing digital records immediately after the defense made its motion to toss out the out-of-state subpoena records, and ordered detectives working on the case to do the same.
Detectives said they “skimmed” or “scanned” the documents, but hadn’t absorbed many details.
The court hasn’t set a hearing date to decide whether any members of the prosecution team should be removed from the case.
To locate your local Domestic Violence Resource Center, call the statewide helpline at 866-834-HELP (4357) or visit www.mcedv.org. For resources or support to prevent child abuse, call 800-422-4453.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.
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