BELFAST – Child murderer Sharon Kennedy will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. A Waldo County judge on Friday sentenced her to 48 years in prison.
“She said, ‘We beat her to death. I should have never have done it. I should have just talked to her and not beat my own child,’” Justice Robert Murray said, referring to the hours and hours of video interviews done with Kennedy and Maine State Police that were shown at her trial.
Both Kennedy and Julio Carrillo were convicted separately last year in the brutal beating death of her daughter, 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy.
“She repeatedly said, over and over again, ‘I should have stopped. I should have stopped. I should have stopped.’ She didn’t say ‘I should have stopped him. She didn’t say, ‘I should have got help for Marissa.’ She didn’t even say, ‘We should have stopped.’ She said, ‘I should have stopped,” Murray said, just before his sentence.
Kennedy, 35, who was known as Sharon Carrillo when convicted of murder in December. Later that month, a judge annulled the marriage to Carrillo because he was still married when they got hitched. He is serving 55-years in prison for his role in the death of the Marissa, a 76-pound girl who had more than 50 visible injuries on her body when she died in February 2018 after months of daily beatings.
“The pain and fear that Marissa must have experienced for months was captured in the photographs taken in the days before her death,” said Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who prosecuted the case with Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber. “That will haunt all who have been touched by her death.”
She added, “From the first responders to the law enforcement officers who investigated her death, to the jurors who decided the defendant’s fate, the pain and agony Marissa suffered will forever be etched in their mind’s eye.”
The defense team said their client’s lower IQ and domestic violence at the hands of Carrillo played a role in the crime.
She did not take the stand and did not make a statement at her sentencing.
“I think my client feels a lot of grief and is still processing that grief,” said Laura Shaw, who represented Kennedy with Chris MacLean. “Her role in whatever happened was extremely limited.”
Shaw said they already plan to appeal both the conviction and the sentence.
Kennedy’s parents and others spoke and read letters from other loved ones.
Marissa’s uncle, Stephen Kennedy, wrote a letter thanking the people who reported the abuse to police and took time to testify.
“You stepped up when others turned away,” the letter said. “And you did not fail Marissa.”