Judge: Separate trials; Sharon Carrillo's statements will be admitted

By Megan Gray, Portland Press Herald | Jun 07, 2019

The mother and stepfather charged with murder in the death of a 10-year-old girl will have separate trials.

The decision comes after Sharon Carrillo put the blame for Marissa Kennedy’s death on her husband. Her attorneys have claimed in court documents that she and her daughter were both victims of physical and sexual abuse at Julio Carrillo’s hands.

While the judge agreed to sever the trials, he denied another motion to suppress all statements Sharon Carrillo made to law enforcement. Her lawyer argued that both police and her husband coerced her to implicate herself in her daughter’s death, but the judge did not agree.

“It doesn’t change the defense’s position, and it doesn’t change any arguments that we’ll be making,” said defense attorney Chris MacLean, who represents Sharon Carrillo.

Court documents show Julio Carrillo called 911 on Feb, 25, 2018, to report the girl was bleeding and barely breathing. Both Carrillos later admitted in police interviews to beating Marissa daily and then trying to make her death look like an accident inside their Stockton Springs condo. They were arrested and charged with depraved indifference murder.

Since then, Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys have repeatedly called into question her intellectual abilities and her role in Marissa’s death. She is seeking to annul her marriage, although that case is still pending. Julio Carrillo’s attorneys have shared comparatively little information about his defense.

Prosecutors asked for a single trial with two separate juries, but Superior Court Justice Robert Murray wrote that system would be a burden on the court.

“The court views the issue before it now as whether the use of two juries is at once an effective remedy of the prejudice that would be caused by a joint trial under these circumstances,” Murray wrote. “In short, it is not.”

In his separate order on the motion to suppress, Murray said he did not believe Sharon Carrillo’s testimony that her husband whispered to her to “take 50 percent of the blame.” No police detectives witnessed or recorded that interaction, the judge said, and her behavior in the interviews does not support her claim that it happened.

“The court does not find this to be credible,” he wrote.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the case. Both of the Carrillos’ lawyers said the judge made the right decision on the motion to sever.

“It would have been extremely difficult to have everything take place in one county, in one courtroom,” MacLean said.

Defense attorney Darrick Banda, who represents Julio Carrillo, said a separate trial will be less complicated than a joint one. He called the claims Sharon Carrillo has made about her husband “unsubstantiated.”

“It’ll be an opportunity to have a fair trial away from much of the hot air that the Sharon Carrillo camp has been blowing in this case,” Banda said.

Julio Carrillo is scheduled for trial in August. Sharon Carrillo will go on trial in December. Both trials will take place in Waldo County, and neither defendant has requested a bench trial over a jury trial.

Marissa’s death was one of two deaths last year that increased scrutiny of Maine’s child protective system. In both cases, warning signs of abuse or neglect appeared to be missed or ignored.

The other child victim was 4-year-old Kendall Chick. A judge convicted Shawna Gatto in April of depraved indifference murder in the death of her fiance’s granddaughter. She will be sentenced later this month.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 08, 2019 05:44

Talk about two losers!



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