BELFAST — A husband and wife accused of beating their 10-year-old daughter to death over the span of several months were arraigned in Waldo County Superior Court April 2.
Sharon Carrillo, 33, arrived roughly 15 minutes before husband Julio Carrillo, 51, with both dressed in prison jumpsuits as they shuffled past a throng of reporters.
Both Carrillos were arrested and charged with depraved indifference murder the day after Marissa Kennedy was discovered deceased Feb. 25, in the Stockton Springs condo where the family stayed.
According to interview transcripts from the day they were arrested, both Julio and Sharon Carrillo described daily beatings, sometimes more than once a day. The beatings, which were done with closed hands, fists, and a metal mop handle that ultimately broke on the girl’s torso, were just part of what Marissa endured during her final months.
She was also made to stay in a closet for extended periods and forced to kneel on the kitchen tile with her arms raised during the beatings both Carrillos described as punishment, according to the affidavit.
Both of the Carrillo’s appearances were brief, standing one after the other before Justice Robert Murray asked how each pleaded to their charge of depraved indifference murder. Both pleaded not guilty.
While Sharon was before Justice Murray, Julio sat to the side and could be seen looking toward Sharon throughout her proceedings, though she did not appear to return his gaze. Instead, Sharon kept her head lowered unless speaking to Justice Murray, court staff or her attorney, Chris MacLean.
Julio Carrillo was represented by new counsel, attorney Darrick X. Banda, who has been retained by members of his family.
Although this court session went without incident, Chris MacLean, of Camden Law, is currently working to have prosecutors Donald Macomber and Leanne Zainea removed from the case after they procured historical school documents for Sharon Carrillo by attempting to use a State of Maine subpoena out of state.
Sharon Carrillo’s fellow defense attorney, Laura Shaw, also of Camden Law, filed a Motion for Expedited Protective Order against prosecutors March 21, and asked that any and all materials gained via the deceptive letter be inadmissible.
The subpoena was sent to Maplebrook School, an elementary school in New York that Sharon Carrillo reportedly attended as a child, and a Newburgh, New York, Walmart Supercenter where she once worked. The subpoenas, which were identical save the recipient information, purported to be valid subpoenas, and commanded that the recipients appear for a court date.
A subsequent affidavit filed by Shaw noted that no such court date had ever been scheduled. The recipients were also given the option to send the requested documents in lieu of appearing.
A follow-up letter to the Walmart subpoena was sent by Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Leane Zainea, stating: “We are no longer seeking any records pursuant to [the earlier] subpoena. Please refrain from sending us the material requested in [the earlier] subpoena and disregard.” A copy of the earlier subpoena, submitted March 20, was also included.
While the Walmart subpoena was not known about at the time of the original motion for a protective order, Attorney Shaw added an addendum to the motion March 26. She asked that should any records from the Walmart come in, the State should be ordered to “notify the defendant and the court immediately and refrain from looking at or reviewing the records in any way whatsoever.”
Shaw also said she found it concerning that prosecutors failed to formally rescind the subpoena to Walmart until the defense team asked, despite being put on notice of the “various violations made by the subpoena the day before.”
Shaw again asked for sanctions against the Attorney General’s Office, including barring it from using any information gained via the use of improper subpoenas.
A hearing for the Expedited Motion for Protective order was held March 27, during which Justice Murray found that the State had improperly obtained records from Maplebrook School. Both AAG Macomber and AAG Zainea reportedly deleted all information received via email from the school following the hearing, according to their individually filed affidavits. Physical records were also sent to the AG’s office but were turned over to the court March 27.
A Motion to Disqualify with Incorporated Memorandum of Law was also filed by the defense March 26.
In that motion, Attorney MacLean requests that the Honorable Court disqualify the Attorney General’s office, “including, but not limited to Donald Macomber, AAG, and Leane Zainea, AAG, from prosecuting this case.”
The motion was filed as a companion motion to the Motion for Protective Order that was previously filed with the court.
“This Motion to Disqualify sets forth the relief sought by Defendant for the prosecutorial misconduct that resulted in the State’s obtaining 73 pages of confidential and privileged records from Maplebrook School, which are protected by New York State and Federal Law,” the affidavit reads.
Attorney MacLean wrote that: “it is difficult to imagine a more egregious abuse of process than what has occurred. A subpoena is a powerful and coercive tool,” which if not obeyed is subject to an order of arrest.
He argued that lawyers in Maine are charged with the ethical obligation to use them strictly within the confines of the law, something that did not happen in this case. By using a subpoena that had no legal validity prosecutors have committed serious and ethical violations, and now possess a “trove of confidential information that they are not entitled to have or ever see.” the affidavit reads.
Defense attorneys say the only remedy, in this case, is the disqualification of the Attorney General’s office from the prosecution of this matter, since if the documents in question have been reviewed, the entire office has been tainted by that review.
The affidavit concludes by requesting “that the Office of the Attorney General, or at a minimum AAG Donald Macomber and AAG Leane Zainea, be disqualified from any further involvement in this matter, and that this Honorable Court issue any further orders necessary to protect the integrity of the judicial process.”
A hearing for MacLean’s Motion to Disqualify is expected to be scheduled within the next week or two.
Bail for both Sharon and Julio Carrillo remains at $500,000 without surety and both remain in custody at Two Bridges Regional Jail.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org