BELFAST — Miranda Hopkins made claims in court Aug. 24 regarding her legal counsel and juror misconduct during her 2017 trial where jurors convicted her of manslaughter for the death of her 7-week-old son.

Hopkins, formerly of Troy, is asking for a new trial or resentencing on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and juror misconduct. Justice Robert Murray heard arguments on her claims during an Aug. 24 hearing.

Hopkins claims her defense attorneys, Christopher MacLean and Laura Shaw, made several errors during her trial. Lawrence Winger, her attorney during the Aug. 24 hearing, argued that there was blood evidence that the two previous attorneys did not properly investigate, and they also failed to recognize that her marijuana use was medicinal and they failed to adequately prepare her for her sentencing hearing.

Winger also argued that a juror was coerced and intimidated into finding Hopkins guilty during internal jury deliberations.

Hopkins claims that MacLean and Shaw did not pursue testing blood from a stain on a window in the home. The blood was tested after the trial and was found not to be a match to her, her baby or her two older autistic sons, according to testimony during the hearing. It was determined that the blood came from a man.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea poked holes in the claims during the hearing by getting Hopkins to acknowledge that she does not remember asking her attorneys directly to test the blood. She claimed that she thought they were going to subpoena DNA evidence to identify whose blood it was without her requesting it.

Another ground Hopkins argued was that her attorneys never clarified to the jury that her marijuana use that night was medicinal and the conditions for which it was prescribed. MacLean said he did not clarify the type of marijuana use at trial because he did not think it would have significantly changed the light in which most members of the jury viewed her use of the substance.

Hopkins is also claiming that MacLean and Shaw did not properly prepare her for the sentencing trial, where she did not say much about her remorse about the situation. She said her impression was that they wanted her to refrain from saying anything that implied guilt during the sentencing because it could impact an appeal.

She said she would have accepted responsibility in that she “let her guard down” and it resulted in her baby’s death. She said her decision not to remain sober that night was not good, at one point stating, “I’m sorry is not enough.”

Hopkins was sentenced in December 2017 to 18 years in prison, with all but 13 suspended, and four years of probation. She lost an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court. Murray is not expected to reach a decision on Hopkins’ claims at the hearing until after the November submission deadline for closing arguments and responses.