Her competency called into question

Jury selection underway for mother accused of murdering 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 4:30pm

BELFAST — The trial of Sharon Carrillo, who is charged with participating in the depraved indifference murder of her daughter Marissa Kennedy, is scheduled to begin at the end of this week, though it may be pushed to next week due to state offices closing Dec. 3 due to inclement weather. 

Sharon Carrillo, 34, was arrested the day after Marissa’s Feb. 25, 2018, death, along with her then-husband and Marissa’s stepfather, Julio Carrillo, 52, who was also charged with depraved indifference murder.

Both admitted participating in months of prolonged, daily beatings during which Marissa would be struck with hands, fists, and a mop handle. Her official cause of death is listed as battered child syndrome, with injuries including bleeding to the brain and a lacerated liver. 

Although both stated in interviews conducted by Maine State Police detectives the day of Marissa’s death, and the day following, that they participated in the abuse, both Julio and Sharon later changed their stories to place blame on the other.

Sharon Carrillo later claimed she was told by Julio Carrillo to take equal blame for Marissa’s death. She has stated she was, in fact, a fellow victim of Julio Carrillo, not a participant in the abuse against her daughter. 

Julio Carrillo pleaded guilty to depraved indifference murder in Waldo County Superior Court July 22 and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.   

Lawyers for Sharon Carrillo submitted an Expedited Motion for Forensic Evaluation examining her competency to proceed Nov. 20. Justice Robert Murray granted the request.

According to the motion, Sharon Carrillo’s Attorney Chris MacLean wrote that it appears his client is having difficulty working with the information presented by counsel. 

“This circumstance became particularly apparent during the recent judicial settlement conference,” the motion reads.

The document further specifies Sharon Carrillo is not seeking to delay her trial. The motion was granted by Justice Murray Nov. 21.

Jury selection for the trial began Dec. 4 and is expected to continue Dec. 5. 

The trial is expected to begin Dec. 6 at the Waldo County Judicial Center.

Sharon Carrillo’s father, Joseph Kennedy, 66, who discovered cell phones at the Carrillo home allegedly containing images of the abuse, is expected to be called as a material witness for the State of Maine.

Her stepmother, Roseanne Kennedy, 66, is also expected to be called to testify as a material witness, according to court documents. Both Joseph and Roseanne Kennedy live in New Windsor, New York. 

A witness list for the State includes over 60 names, including members of the Maine State Police, Bangor Police Department, the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory, Two Bridges Regional Correctional Facility, Eastern Maine Medical Center, the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Members of Julio Carrillo’s family, from New Sharon, New York, are listed as possible witnesses to be called. 

Defense Attorney Christopher MacLean, of Camden Law, submitted a potential witness list Nov. 18, which includes representatives from many of the same agencies that prosecutors plan to call.

Members of both Sharon Carrillo and Julio Carrillo’s families are also listed on the defense’s witness list, as are Julio Carrillo, Jr., held in Warren since his sentencing, and his father, Julio Carrillo Sr., of New York. 

Also listed on both the State’s and defense’s witness list is Shawna Gatto, 44, the Wiscasset woman convicted of the murder of Kendall Chick, a four-year-old girl in her care. Gatto was sentenced to serve 50 years in prison for her crime on June 25. 

A court clerk said that although the witness list includes a name, it does not necessarily mean that that person will be called to testify. 

Sharon Carrillo is currently being held at Somerset County Jail in Skowhegan

 

See also:

Maine Legislature recommends three of five child abuse, protection bills ought to pass

DHHS commissioner says LePage bill addresses questions, concerns about agency

Mother, stepfather arrested following 10-year-old daughter's death in Stockton Springs 

Mother, stepfather accused of murdering daughter to make first court appearance Wednesday 

Bail set at $500k for mother, stepfather accused of murdering daughter 

Sen. Thibodeau calls on Governor for investigation into DHHS following girl's murder 

Searsport schools plan 'Dress Blue' day in remembrance of slain girl 

Sen. Thibodeau issues statement following LePage remarks on murdered 10-year-old

Update: State investigation into Marissa Kennedy's death to take place in two phases 

Sharon, Julio Carrillo indicted for murder of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy

Attorney for Sharon Carrillo seeks bail reduction, cites spousal abuse 

Maine Children's Trust donations grow following Stockton Spring girl's death 

Sharon Carrillo lawyer accuses state of deception

Carrillos plead not guilty to charges of murdering 10-year-old

Tensions run high in Waldo County Court as Sharon Carrillo lawyers argue to have prosecutors disqualified

Carrillo prosecutors to remain on casejudge decides

Maine Supreme Court to decide whether Sharon Carrillo prosecutors stay on case

OPEGA returns phase one report into abuse deaths of two Maine children

Gov. LePage steps in for Department of Health and Human Services at Augusta oversight hearing

Government Oversight Committee issues subpoena for DHHHS Commissioner, LePage responds  

Gov. LePage signs four of five proposed child welfare reform bills into law

Prosecutors seek joint trial for Carrillos, with separate juries for each

Sharon Carrillo lawyers file to suppress evidence, sever trials; claim torture at hands of husband

Prosecutors request further testing of Sharon Carrillo after her attorneys move to have statements suppressed

Mother, stepfather to get separate trials in murder of 10-year-old, judge says

Julio Carrillo gets 55 years behind bars for murder of 10-year-old stepdaughter

Six phones sought by Sharon Carrillo, attorneys, searched after warrant issued

DHHS ordered to turn over records for Marissa Kennedy, and all three Carrillo children


Erica Thoms can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com