BELFAST – A Troy mother convicted of killing her 7-week-old son Jaxson returned to the courthouse for sentencing Wednesday.
She claimed the child was unresponsive when she awoke following a night of heavy drinking last winter and that one of her other children might have killed the baby.
But in the end, a jury found her guilty of manslaughter.
Miranda Hopkins arrived at the Waldo County Courthouse Wednesday morning for sentencing, after being found guilty of manslaughter in the death of her infant son in January of 2016.
After hearing from both sides, Superior Court Justice Robert Murray sentenced Hopkins to 18 years in prison, but she’ll only serve 13 of those years.
When released, Hopkins will spend another 4 years on probation.
Prosecutors were pleased with the outcome.
“A sentence of 18 years to the Department of Corrections, with all but 13 years suspended, really reflects how these injuries to Jaxson were inflicted and the catastrophic nature of how these injuries were sustained,” said Asst. Attorney General Leane Zainea.
Defense attorneys brought in friends and family to try to persuade the judge to go easy on Hopkins.
The Troy mother was visibly emotional while receiving her sentence.
“We’re unhappy to see her get such a heavy sentence but we understand the process, and we think the judge really did a good job conducting the trial,” said Chris MacLean, Hopkins’ defense attorney.
The defense says it’s still considering an appeal.
“We have actually filed a notice for appeal, whether we’ll actually follow through and brief the case is something we haven’t decided yet,” MacLean said.
The judge placed Hopkins on house arrest until after the end of December, a move the state opposed.
“Obviously the defendant had a month to prepare for this date, and that was the position the state took in opposing the stay of execution,” Zainea said.
“She was appreciative that the judge let her stay out for a couple more weeks so that she may spend Christmas with her family,” said MacLean.
Hopkins must turn herself in to the corrections facility on December 26 at 9 a.m.