BELFAST – A social worker the state called Monday in the Sharon Carrillo murder trial may be the last person, outside of the family, to see the 10-year-old girl alive before she died.
Suzanne Webber worked for Home Counselors Inc., and through a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, was doing home visits when she went to see the Carrillos for the sixth and final time in Stockton Springs on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
She reported that the victim, Marissa Kennedy, had a bruise over her left eye, as well as bruises and scratches on her arm.
She also said the elementary school girl’s eyes were “glassed over,” she didn’t respond to questions and she appeared to fall asleep during the interview.
“Everything this witness was seeing in the household should have sent out red flags to anyone that domestic violence and abuse going on in the household,” Chris MacLean, who is representing Carrillo along with Laura Shaw, said during a break. “She noted that Marissa didn’t disclose any child abuse at all. But of course, that doesn’t mean child abuse wasn’t happening. Marissa died from child abuse.”
Kennedy died within 48 hours of the visit. The medical examiner said the girl died of battered child syndrome after months of daily beatings. Police were called to the home on the afternoon of Feb. 25, 2018.
The defense team is arguing Sharon Carrillo’s husband controlled her by using violence, which is why she didn’t go to the police and why she gave what they call a “fake” confession.
Maine State Police Detective Jason Andrews took the stand after Webber. The jury then got to hear the entire, approximately two-hour long audio recording of Webber’s first interview with Sharon Carrillo.
In it, Carrillo starts by saying the couple never physically disciplined Kennedy, who was the oldest of her four children. But as the interview continues, Carrillo changes her story repeatedly and ends by saying they did.
Julio Carrillo has admitted to his role in the girl’s death and is currently serving a 55-year prison sentence for his stepdaughter’s murder. He is listed as a possible witness.
“A picture is starting to emerge about what was happening in the Carrillo household,” MacLean said.
The trial, which is scheduled to last until Dec. 18, was temporarily interrupted twice on Monday when a juror got sick. After the second incident, the man did not return for the rest of the day. He is one of 16 jurors, which includes some alternates.