The mother of a 6-month-old boy who died nearly four years ago of a fractured skull described the man accused of causing the baby’s death as “a doting father” when she took the stand Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Larry Earl Lord was born Oct. 24, 2014, in Houlton to Anthony Lord and Jamie Clark.
Clark, now 29, of Kingman was living with Jessee Mackin in an apartment in Millinocket on May 5, 2015, when the baby suddenly stopped breathing and became unresponsive, according to testimony. He died two days later at what is now Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Mackin, 36, of Millinocket has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in connection with the boy’s death. He is free on $25,000 cash bail.
In interviews with Maine State Police detectives, Mackin denied hurting the baby.
The trial ended Thursday afternoon after Mackin took the stand in his own defense, according to Assistant Attorney Leanne Robbin. Superior Court Justice William Anderson took the matter under advisement after hearing closing arguments, she said.
Clark took the stand on the third day of Mackin’s jury-waived trial and said that she began a relationship with him about six weeks after Anthony Lord, 38, of Crystal was arrested on Jan. 23, 2015. Lord’s arrest followed a domestic violence incident and he was forbidden from having contact with Clark or unsupervised contact with his son.
Clark described Mackin, who has no children, as inexperienced with an infant. Clark said she showed him how to change Larry’s diaper and give him a bottle.
“He was proud to be learning these things,” she testified.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Stephen Smith of Augusta, Clark admitted that she had told people she did not believe Mackin caused the baby’s death. She also testified that the Maine Department of Human Services took her then 2-year-old daughter to live with Clark’s aunt and uncle under a safety plan before Larry died.
Clark said that one of the conditions of reunification with her daughter imposed by DHHS was that she end her relationship with Mackin. Clark testified that she moved out of the apartment they shared about a week after her son died but continued to meet with him for a week or two.
She also testified that Lord “stalked” her by driving past her home and her place of work after she took out a protection order against him in late January but did not enter the home before the baby died.
Lord is serving two life sentences at the Maine State Prison in Warren in connection with a two-county rampage in July 2015, two months after his son’s death. He was sentenced Aug. 8, 2017, after he pleaded guilty to murdering Kyle Hewitt, 22, of Benedicta and Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee; shooting and wounding Kim Irish, 57, Clayton McCarthy, 57, and Carlton Eddy, 52, all of Benedicta; and assaulting Kary Mayo, 40, of Silver Ridge with a hammer.
At his sentencing, Lord blamed his actions on the loss of his son and his frustration over how long the investigation was taking. He was not allowed to attend Mackin’s trial, according to the attorney general’s office.
If convicted of manslaughter, Mackin faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.