Mother of Marissa Kennedy found competent to continue

Trial of Sharon Carrillo to begin Friday after jury is seated

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 4:45pm

    BELFAST — The trial of Sharon Carrillo is set to begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. after a jury was seated this afternoon, Dec. 5. Carrillo was also found competent to continue to trial, something that had been called into question by her attorneys. 

    The jury selection process for the case took two full days to complete. 

    Sharon Carrillo, 34, and her then-husband Julio Carrillo, 52, were arrested in February 2018 and charged with depraved indifference murder following the prolonged beating death of her daughter 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy. 

    The Chief Medical Examiner determined that Marissa died as a result of battered child syndrome, with bleeding to the brain and lacerations to the liver among other injuries found. 

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

    Sharon Carrillo has maintained that she was a victim of Julio Carrillo and not an equal participant in the sustained abuse against her daughter. 

    Over 175 potential jurors were asked to report to the Waldo County Judicial Center Dec. 4, with jury selection lasting through Dec. 5. 

    According to United State Courts, potential jurors are pulled from registered voters and those with driver licenses in the court district where the case is being tried. Those selected complete a questionnaire to help determine their qualified to serve, and those that are found to qualify are then randomly chosen to be summoned to appear. 

    Being summoned for jury duty does not mean someone will automatically be placed on the jury. Instead, those who qualify to serve are taken to the courtroom where the trial will take place and asked questions by the judge, prosecutors, and defense attorneys involved in the case. 

    This process is called voire dire and is used to exclude those potential jurors who “may not be able to the case fairly.” 

    “The purpose of voir dire is to exclude from the jury people who may not be able to decide the case fairly. Members of the panel who know any person involved in the case, who have information about the case, or who may have strong prejudices about the people or issues involved in the case, typically will be excused by the judge. The attorneys also may exclude a certain number of jurors without giving a reason,” according to 

    The trial of Sharon Carrillo is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Waldo County Judicial Center. It is expected to take two weeks. 

    If convicted, Sharon Carrillo will face a sentence from 25 years to life. 

    Erica Thoms can be reached at