BELFAST — The state’s medical examiner testified in the afternoon of Oct. 17 that in his opinion the cause of death for 3-year-old Maddox Williams was battered child syndrome with recent blunt force injuries.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Liam Funte said that, based upon his medical experience, while there were older injuries present on the child, the child’s death was called by what he described as an “acute” injury that occurred hours before the child’s death on June 20, 2021.

Funte performed an autopsy on Williams on June 21 and said that during an internal autopsy of the boy’s body, he discovered a hemorrhage with blood and fecal material in the boy’s abdominal cavity. As a result of the autopsy, Funte testified that the boy had a transected pancreas, a mesentery tear in his small bowel and fractures to the L2 and L3 vertebrae that Funte said were consistent with a tremendous car accident, a fall from a great height or perhaps someone stomping on the child.

Funte said the injuries would result in severe abdominal pain. During a tape-recorded interview with Williams mother Jessica Trefethen, who is on trial in the boy’s death, Trefethen said the boy complained of stomach pain, so Trefethen gave him some cereal, and then he went back outside.

Funte also described a number of other injuries, some he noted had started to heal and so were from some earlier incident(s) with the child. One of the injuries outlined by the examiner was that the boy had three of his front teeth missing and a number of lacerations inside his mouth. Funte said the boy’s sockets were fractured and that he lost his front two teeth at some point prior to losing his third tooth, which was just to the right of his two front teeth. He based this analysis on the fact the sockets of the boy’s two front teeth showed signs of beginning to heal, while the third socket had not yet started to heal.

Funte also described several blunt force injuries on the boy’s forehead, both cheeks and his chin. Funte also noted an abrasion on the boy’s left earlobe. In further investigating the boy’s cranium during the autopsy, he also discovered a hemorrhage inside the cranium.

Funte also described numerous other contusions on the boy’s abdomen, back, arms and legs during his testimony Monday. Funte testified that he could not ascertain the exact number of blunt force trauma events the boy suffered, but that there were multiple injuries, not consistent with the normal activities of a 3-year-old child.

During his testimony, Funte said he also consulted with Dr. Elizabeth Bundock, who is a neuropathologist, trained to identify diseases and trauma of the brain. Funte said he relied on Bundock’s findings in part in making his analysis of the child’s cause of death.

In response to a question from Assistant Attorney General John Risler as to whether the injuries were consistent with accidental trauma, Funte testified that the number of injuries was excessive and would be consistent with non-accidental or inflicted trauma.

Testimony of Maine State Police Detective Hugh Landry

Earlier in the day Oct. 17, the state called as a witness Maine State Police Detective Hugh Landry, who was the lead investigator on the case. During cross examination, Trefethen’s attorney Jeffrey Toothaker asked Landry if he noticed a trampoline during his investigation at any of the properties searched by authorities. Landry said he did see a trampoline, but said Trefethen had mentioned Williams had fallen off the trampoline a week prior, but said nothing about him falling off a trampoline the day of his death.

Toothaker then asked whether the officer ever Googled injuries that can be caused by trampolines, arguing with the detective that investigators never looked for an innocent explanation for the boy’s injuries before zeroing in on his client.

Landry said that in consulting with the medical examiner, the injuries were consistent with a car accident, being thrown from a four-story building or from being stomped on.

Toothaker then pressed Landry, asking him whether or not he knew exactly how the injury occurred, to which Landry said he couldn’t say for certain what conduct caused the boy’s injuries.

Toothaker has yet to cross-examine Funte. The trial recessed around 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17 following the state’s direct examination of Funte. The trial was set to resume Oct. 18 at 8:30 a.m., at which time defense attorney Toothaker will cross-examine Funte.

Trefethen is accused of “depraved indifference murder” in her son’s death.