WISCASSET, Maine — A Wiscasset woman accused of murdering her fiance’s 4-year-old granddaughter late last year is asking the court to suppress statements she made to police shortly after the child’s death in December at her grandfather’s home.
Shawna L Gatto, 43, is accused of depraved indifference murder in the death of Kendall Chick. She was indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury in January.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services placed Chick in the custody of her grandfather, Stephen Hood, and Gatto, at the couple’s home at 19 Crickets Lane, in January 2017.
The Wiscasset Ambulance Service responded to the home for a report of an unresponsive 4-year-old girl the afternoon of Dec. 8. An ambulance crew brought Chick to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, where she was pronounced dead.
Gatto told investigators she was the only person alone with Chick the day of her death, according to the detective’s report. Police found evidence of “trauma and subsequent cleanup” of blood in multiple rooms in the house, the Lincoln County News reported.
Maine state medical examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum determined that Chick died due to injuries inflicted to the abdomen that “would likely cause death within 1 to 12 hours after infliction” and that “given the magnitude of these injuries, he would opine further that death would result within the shorter end of that time continuum,” court documents state.
A report by Maine State Police Detective Jonathan Heimbach, which cites the findings of Maine’s chief medical examiner, said the blunt-force injury caused “lacerations of her pancreas” and other organs, and that she showed signs of “chronic physiological stress.”
On July 11, attorney Jeremy Pratt, who with attorney Philip Cohen represents Gatto, filed a motion to suppress all statements she made after Dec. 10, 2018, to all law enforcement officers, arguing Gatto was not read her Miranda rights and that the statements were made after she requested an attorney.
Gatto is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Thursday in Knox County Court in Rockland.
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