BELFAST – A last-minute attempt to free a mother with “limited intellectual functioning” from facing a murder charge in the beating death of her oldest child has failed.
The judge overseeing the Sharon Carrillo murder trial has deemed that she is competent to stand trial.
The defense team for Carrillo filed the competency motion late in November.
“Sharon, as we’ve talked about, is in the lower 2 percent of intelligence and had no criminal involvement before any of this happened,” said Christopher MacLean, who is representing her along with attorney Laura Shaw.
Justice Robert Murray used three reports to make his determination. Two were written by psychologist Dr. Sarah Miller, who is the director of the State Forensic Service, and one was by Dr. Michael O’Connell, another forensic psychologist.
The judge issued a written decision early Wednesday saying, “the defendant has limited intellectual functioning, resulting in her decision-making abilities being generally impaired. However, the defendant’s IQ is not so low as to suggest she is incapable of making informed decisions.”
Carrillo is charged with murder in the beating death of her daughter 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy.
Kennedy, the oldest of Carrillo’s four children, died of battered child syndrome after months of daily beatings, the medical examiner determined.
Her husband, Julio Carrillo, admitted to the crime earlier this year and is currently serving a 55-year prison sentence.
Jury selection began around 9 a.m. on Wednesday and is expected to take two days. The trial is currently scheduled to start on Friday.