October 22, 2018
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Trial date set for Maine woman accused in death of 4-year-old

Sam Luvisi | The Lincoln County News
Sam Luvisi | The Lincoln County News
Shawna L. Gatto appears in court with her attorney, Philip S. Cohen, Friday, Jan. 12.

The Wiscasset woman accused of murdering 4-year-old Kendall Chick at her grandfather’s Wiscasset home in December will stand trial in January.

Shawna Gatto, 44, waived her right to a jury trial and will stand trial before Justice William Stokes on Jan. 24.

Gatto is charged with depraved indifference murder in the death of Chick on Dec. 8, 2017. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services placed Chick in the custody of her grandfather, Stephen Hood, and Gatto in January 2017.

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 report said. Chick died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

In August, Stokes accepted Gatto’s waiver of her right to a jury trial.

Attorney Jeremy Pratt, who represents Gatto with attorney Philip Cohen, argued at the time that statements Gatto allegedly made to investigators following Chick’s death and before her arrest be suppressed.

Pratt argued that investigators did not read Gatto her Miranda rights and that she made statements to them after she requested an attorney.

Detectives at the August hearing said Gatto was not in custody at any of the times when investigators questioned her, that they told her specifically she was not under arrest, and Maine State Police detective Joshua Birmingham said he read Gatto her rights when he interviewed her Dec. 10.

Stokes is due to rule on the motion soon and on whether DHHS records pertaining to Chick will be released to the attorneys.

Assistant Attorney General John Alsop, who is prosecuting the case, had no comment Tuesday.

Gatto’s attorney, Philip Cohen, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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