BELFAST – Friday was the first day of the murder trial for a Stockton Springs mom who is accused of helping her husband beat her daughter to death over a period of several months.
The girl’s mother, Sharon Carrillo, 35, is charged with her February 2018 murder.
Both the prosecution and the defense warned jurors that some of the images they would see of the beaten body of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy would be disturbing.
“Those photos are going to speak volumes to you about the torture that Marissa Kennedy had been subjected to,” Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber, who is prosecuting the case with Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, told the jury during his opening statement.
“The state is going to show you some photographs that will haunt you for the rest of your lives,” said defense attorney Christopher MacLean, who is representing Carrillo along with attorney Laura Shaw.
“Ten-year-old Marissa Kennedy was beaten to death over a period of months,” Macomber said. “Who beat Marissa Kennedy to death? Who is responsible for her murder? Her mother Sharon Carrillo and her stepfather, Julio Carrillo.”
Julio Carrillo admitted to his role in the girl’s death earlier this year and is currently serving a 55-year prison sentence for murder.
The prosecutor says it was Sharon Carrillo that issued the final beating.
“At the end, Marissa couldn’t walk and her speech was slurred, but Sharon, Marissa’s own mother, thought Marissa was faking, so she beat her again,” Macomber said.
The defense team presented a different viewpoint.
“The evidence will show that Julio Carrillo killed Marissa Kennedy and he acted alone in doing that,” MacLean said. “And Sharon Carrillo did not participate in any of the beatings or torture of her daughter, as the state just described to you.”
The defense team argued Sharon Carrillo’s husband controlled her by using violence, which is why she didn’t go to police and why she gave what they call a “fake” confession.
“The prosecution doesn’t want to talk about domestic violence in the home, committed by Juilo against Sharon. And the reason they don’t want to is because it undermines the theory of their case.”
Marissa was the oldest of Sharon Carrillo’s four children. She was pregnant when charged with murder and gave birth to her youngest child while in jail waiting for her trial to begin. The children now live with her husband’s parents in New York.
Besides media, Carrillo’s aunt and uncle were the only people in the courtroom during the first day of the trial.