Couple angle to blame each other for murder of 10-year-old girl

Attorneys for Sharon Carrillo seek to block her statements to police, sever joined trials
By Ethan Andrews | Feb 27, 2019
Source: File Photo Marissa Kennedy

Stockton Springs — Julio and Sharon Carrillo told police last February that they were partners in the regular beatings that caused the death Sharon Carrillo's 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy. But in the year since the girl was found dead in the couple's Stockton Springs home, the couple have sought to distance themselves from one another, with each angling to pin the blame on the other, according to recent court filings from Sharon Carrillo's attorneys.

In a pair of motions filed Feb. 8, attorneys Christopher MacLean and Laura Shaw asked that Sharon Carrillo's trial be severed from her husband's and that initial statements she made to police on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, 2018, immediately after the child was found dead, be barred from consideration at trial.

The cases were joined last year at the request of state prosecutors, who asked for a single trial with two juries. MacLean and Shaw responded that defense arguments from the Carrillos are likely to be "exceptionally antagonistic," with each blaming the other for the crime.

Sharon Carrillo expects evidence to be submitted at trial "revealing that Julio Carrillo systematically tortured her physically, psychologically and sexually," they wrote, adding that "at least 50 witnesses could be called to testify in this trial, potentially many more."

Evidence of this abuse is expected to make up a large portion of Sharon's defense through which they hope to see her exonerated, the attorneys said. Court documents suggest that numerous evaluations of Sharon Carrillo's intellectual ability, both from her past and newly commissioned, will play a major role in her defense.

While Sharon Carrillo's court file has grown over the past year, Julio Carrillo's file has sat almost untouched. But according to MacLean and Shaw, he may be building a similar defense.

In a Jan. 19 proffer interview, MacLean and Shaw said Julio Carrillo recanted his initial story to police, casting himself now as a victim and innocent bystander, while claiming Sharon Carrillo, in MacLean and Shaw's words, "was responsible for and orchestrated the events leading up to Marissa's death."

The Carrillos are each charged with depraved indifference murder. Currently, they are scheduled to stand trial together in August, but MacLean and Shaw are seeking to have the cases split into two separate trials on grounds that a single trial would violate Sharon Carrillo's due process rights.

State prosecutors 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.

MacLean and Shaw countered that a two-jury trial would be unnecessarily complex if it involved excusing each of the juries for portions of testimony. Additionally, they said, it would be hard to avoid prejudicing either of the juries with testimony meant for the other.

State prosecutors Leane Zainea and Donald Macomber on Feb. 19 filed a motion to get the data used by the defense's experts relied upon in their psychological evaluations of Sharon Carrillo, including medical, social and school records, and notes from interviews with Marissa Kennedy's grandparents, Joseph and Roseann Kennedy.

A hearing on the defense's two motions is scheduled for April 2 in Waldo County District Court at 8:30 a.m.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.