A judge is considering a motion made on behalf of Sharon Carrillo to sever trial proceedings from her husband Julio Carrillo. The couple are accused of beating Sharon Carrillo’s 10-year-old daughter Marissa Kennedy to death in February 2018 in their Stockton Springs home.

Attorney Laura Shaw, representing Sharon Carrillo, argued April 4 at Waldo County Judicial Center against the state’s motion for joinder, which would allow the couple’s trials to take place at the same time with two different juries. She said there are inherent risks of prejudice, antagonistic defenses and due process concerns that warrant separate trials.

Shaw said Sharon Carrillo’s defense will focus on Julio’s alleged abuse of her as well as Marissa by calling 35 witness to testify, which would require the jury hearing Julio Carrillo's trial to be removed.

Both Carrillos were present in the courtroom for the proceedings. Sharon Carrillo flashed a brief smile in the direction of her parents seated in the gallery and, at times during Shaw’s presentation, appeared to be crying.

Because of the extensive media coverage of the case, Shaw argued, separation of the two trials would not lead to any additional prejudice against either defendant.

The cases were joined last year at the request of state prosecutors, who in October argued for a single trial with two juries on grounds that it would conserve judicial resources and avoid the possibility of of inconsistent verdicts while keeping the protections of separate trials.

Both sides agreed finding jurors will be difficult.

State prosecutor Leane Zainea on Thursday laid the blame for much of the media coverage on the defense attorneys and said motions sometimes reach the press before reaching prosecutors. She argued it is the defense’s responsibility to prove separate trials are needed and said she feels the second trial would be subject to more prejudice.

Zainea said if Sharon Carrillo’s defense team called witnesses to speak about abuse by Julio Carrillo, it would be fine for both juries to be present.

Justice Robert Murray acknowledged both sides “presented dramatically different arguments” and said he would take everything under advisement. He did not issue a ruling or indicate when that might happen.

The Carrillos are each charged with depraved indifference murder. Currently, they are scheduled to stand trial together in August.

Prosecutors also asked for additional time to serve a subpoena that was mistakenly filed rather than served to a third party, which was granted.

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