January 13, 2020
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The latest in Sharon Carrillo’s murder trial for the death of her daughter

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Opening statements in the Sharon Carrillo murder trial got underway on Friday, December 6, 2019, for her alleged participation in the beatings and torture of her 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy.

If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.

The trial of Sharon Carrillo, who is accused of murdering her 10-year-old daughter Marissa Kennedy in February 2018, began Dec. 6, 2019. We will relay important information from the trial here as details emerge.

Earlier

Court is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday, when the jurors will receive instructions from Justice Robert Murray prior to beginning their deliberations.

Earlier

— The defense is expected to call a few more witnesses Tuesday morning, and closing arguments in the case could begin Tuesday afternoon. After closing arguments, the jury will begin deliberations to decide if Carrillo is criminally responsible for the depraved indifference murder of her daughter.

— Court was dismissed early on Monday, and the jury was sent home after the lunch break because attorneys were “fighting” over evidence, according to defense attorney Chris MacLean. He said he wanted the jury to see 40 or 50 text messages found on phones in the Carrillo home, which appear to be written by Julio Carrillo and include threats to the lives of both Sharon Carrillo and Kennedy. He also wants the jury to see narrative logs from the Department of Health and Human Services. “They would help the jury understand what’s happening,” MacLean said.

— Witnesses called Monday morning included a Bangor police officer who allegedly responded to a report that Kennedy had run away from the family’s apartment when they were living in that city, and a janitor of the Bangor apartment building where the Carrillos lived who said she heard such disturbing behavior from the family that she called both the police and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

— The defense is expected to call a few more witnessed before it rests its case. It’s still unclear if Carrillo will take the stand.

— Witnesses called Friday by Carrillo’s attorney include neighbors who lived near them in Bangor. Ethan Miele said that he once heard a child in the Carrillo apartment scream: “Daddy, stop! Daddy, please, please stop!”

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
An undated photo of Marissa Kennedy.

— Dr. Michael O’Connell, an independent psychologist, also testified Friday afternoon for the defense. O’Connell said that 98 percent of individuals function higher than Carrillo, who reportedly has an IQ of 70. For comparison, the average IQ is 100.

— Two of Julio Carrillo’s former Ocean State Job Lot co-workers testified Friday afternoon that he told them his daughter died two months before she actually died.

— On Friday morning, before jurors entered the room, Julio Carrillo was called to testify by the defense. He pleaded guilty to killing Kennedy this summer, but invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked questions by his wife’s attorney.

— Jurors heard excerpts from post-murder interviews on Thursday, where Sharon Carrillo told detectives: “I should have been 100 percent more of a mother and just walked away.”

— On Thursday jurors watched the rest of a three-hour police interview with Carrillo, conducted by Maine State Police Detective Jason Andrews the day after her daughter Kennedy died.

— The court took an unexpected break on Wednesday, when a juror became sick and needed to leave the courtroom. This is the second juror who has become ill in the courtroom this week. The illnesses have reportedly not been connected with the testimony made in the trial.

— During Wednesday morning’s proceedings, two videos taken of Sharon Carrillo by Julio Carrillo were played. In both, she is screaming and crying and telling him to leave her alone. Sharon Carrillo cried in the courtroom as she watched the video.

— On Wednesday morning, jurors saw photos that investigators found on one of Julio Carillo’s cellphone including a photo of Kennedy, naked except for her underwear, kneeling on the tile floor with her arms up. She has bruises on her torso. Another photo was shown that pictured both Kennedy and Sharon Carrillo kneeling naked on the floor.

— Witnesses who testified Tuesday afternoon included state police officials who detailed the evidence they found in the home. Jurors saw belts and a broken mop that allegedly were used to beat Kennedy and a child’s shirt that was stained with a red-brown substance that also was found in the home. Carrillo, sitting in the courtroom, cried when she saw the shirt.

— Jurors heard on Tuesday afternoon from Scott Quintero, who had been one of the two Maine State Police detectives present during Carrillo’s confession. He told the court that he did not hear Julio Carrillo whisper to his wife before her second police interview. Sharon Carrillo’s defense attorneys have said that Julio Carrillo whispered to her, telling her to take 50 percent of the blame for Kennedy’s death.

— Jurors listened to an audio recording on Tuesday morning of Sharon Carrillo’s confession in the murder of her daughter. Carrillo cried as she listened to her own words. Her defense team is expected to refute that statement as testimony in the trial continues Tuesday in Belfast.

This confession contradicted Carrillo’s initial statements that Kennedy went down to the basement to watch the movie “Despicable Me” and somehow, perhaps intentionally, fatally injured herself.

— On Monday, first responders provided insight into their initial interviews with Carrillo at the Stockton Springs condo, just a day after the girl’s murder. For much of the interview, they said Carrillo was calm, pleasant and conversational. In audio excerpts played for the jury, Carrillo staunchly denied having a role in Kennedy’s death.

— Sue Webber, the case manager who was likely the last social worker to see Kennedy alive at her home, testified earlier on Monday that she saw bruises on the girl in the days leading up to her death.

— Webber also said she hadn’t documented any domestic violence against Sharon Carrillo, who claims she also suffered abuse at the hands of Julio Carrillo. The social worker also said Sharon Carrillo denied any incidents of being abused when asked about it privately.

— On Friday, the first day of the trial, jurors saw graphic photos of Kennedy’s body clad in brightly patterned pajamas, but with purple bruises on her belly and face that made some in the courtroom gasp. In another picture shown to jurors, she was lying dead on the floor of a bedroom in her family’s home.

What to expect

Jurors could hear from as many as 60 potential witnesses before the trial concludes in the next week.

— Sharon Carrillo faces the possibility of life in prison for the crime. During opening statements, Donald Macomber, the assistant attorney general who is helping to prosecute the case, described Carrillo as an enthusiastic participant in the beatings and torture of her daughter.

 



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