Jury hears more police interviews with Sharon Carillo during third day of mother’s trial

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 2:30pm

    BELFAST — Day three of the trial of Sharon Carrillo began with the continuation of the recorded interviews between her and Maine State Police Detectives Scott Quintero and Jason Andrews.

    Sharon Carrillo is on trial in Waldo County Superior Court accused of depraved indifference murder after allegedly beating her daughter, Marissa Kennedy, to death with then-husband Julio Carrillo. Maine’s chief medical examiner determined that Marissa had died as a result of battered child syndrome in February 2018, with bleeding on the brain and a laceration to the liver, along with other injuries of various stages of healing. Julio Carrillo pleaded guilty to the same charge in July and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

    Now, her mother is on trial, and Tuesday, Dec. 10, marked the third day jurors were listening to testimony as witnesses were called to speak.

    During Sharon’s first interview with state police, the recording of which was played for jurors Dec. 9, she denied harming Marissa, but after detectives had interviewed Julio and were told a different story, they questioned Sharon again. 

    On Dec. 10, jurors heard another interview with Sharon Carillo. The interview, conducted by Maine State Policer detectives, took place the day Marissa died. It was held at the Stockton Springs town office.

    The interview begins with detectives telling her that they had just spoken with Julio, who had been “totally upfront,” about what happened in the house. 

    Frequently sobbing during the interview, Carillo admitted to inflicting abuse on her daughter in what she and Julio thought of as punishment. 

    She was asked about where the idea for the physical “punishments” originated.

    It was revealed that the beatings began roughly five months prior to Marissa’s death. 

    During the interview, Sharon started yelling and crying when accused of being abusive, saying she would never do that to her daughter. One of the detectives told her they knew she wasn’t being honest. 

    The detectives urged her “come clean” and “do the right thing by Marissa,” as one one of the detectives said, during the taped interview.

    Eventually, Sharon said she and Julio made up the story about Marissa going into the basement to watch a movie while in bed the night prior to her death. By the day she died Marissa was unable to walk or speak clearly. 

    According to Sharon Carillo, Marissa’s punishments began with her being forced to kneel in a corner with her arms raised over her head. She admitted that this was the position she was in when she was subjected to abuse by Julio and Sharon. 

    Sharon also said that she and Julio would hit Marissa on the head frequently, leading to the development of a sizable welt on her head. Marissa was also kicked in the stomach by Julio, though Sharon denied kicking her in the stomach, she said.

    Sharon also said during the interview that there were times Julio had to step in because she was getting “carried away,” and times that she would have to do the same for Julio. 

    It was roughly three weeks before Marissa’s death that Julio struck her so hard with the metal mop handle that it broke. The mop, along with other items of evidence were displayed for jurors following her walk-through of the Stockton Springs home they shared. 

    When asked for reasons for the punishments, Sharon said it was often because Marissa was lying or being disrespectful. She did not respond when detectives asked if Marissa was screaming from being beaten.

    Lying was one reason Sharon gave that Marissa would be beaten, but when one of the detectives asked her if she ever thought that Marissa may have lied because she was “very scared of her,” she didn’t respond. 

    While the beatings began roughly five months before her death, Marissa started to decline a few days prior, no longer being able to walk, speaking with slurred speech.

    Over the course of the interview, it was revealed that when Marissa and Sharon still resided in New York, Marissa had written in a book that she hated her mother. Sharon admitted this upset her.

    Detectives also discussed the visit with social worker Suzanne Webber two days before Marissa’s death, with Sharon explaining she and Julio clothed her so that the only bruise visible was on her face. They then propped her up against Sharon because Marissa could not sit up straight. 

    When given the opportunity to cross-examine Detective Andrews on the stand, Sharon’s defense Attorney Chris MacLean said the team would defer and wait until he was recalled by the prosecution to cross-examine. 

    The next witness called was Jonah O’Rourk, a Maine State Police detective in the Major Crimes Unit, as well as a senior member of the Evidence Response Team.

    A video of Sharon taking part in the walk-through, which involves a subject walking police through the scene of the crime and answering any questions they may have, was played for jurors. It shows Sharon standing near the counter of the kitchen and acting out some of the violence on a detective. 

    Sharon said that on the Saturday before her death, Marissa she tried to say one word to her and Julio but they couldn’t understand what she was saying. She said nothing Sunday, despite Sharon trying to talk to her. It was Saturday night that she and Julio discussed the situation and what they would tell authorities. 

    The day before Marissa died, Sharon penned a letter telling her they could no longer take care of her, that she was out of control and “hurts me and my husband and my other kids, we just cannot take care of her anymore,” according to the letter, which was read aloud by one of the detectives taking part in the walk-through. 

    When asked why she had made her daughter hear the letter, Sharon said she wanted her to know if she continued acting the way she was they would sign her over the state.

    MSP Sergeant David Yankowski was called next to the stand. Yankowski, who is also on the evidence recovery team, walked the jurors through photos of the evidence before the physical item was submitted to the court. 

    A number of physical pieces of evidence were introduced to jurors, including the broken mop handle, the bloody shirt Marissa was wearing the day of her death, prior to being changed into another shirt, which was also included. That shirt showed no obvious signs of blood. The pants Marissa was wearing were also submitted, with Sharon weeping as the clothes were shown to defense attorneys before being submitted to the court.

    A number of witnesses are expected to be called during the trial’s afternoon session. 

    Erica Thoms can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com