By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 11, 2019

BELFAST, Maine (AP) - Maine state prosecutors played police recordings of a mother admitting to severely beating her 10-year-old daughter during a murder trial in the child’s death.

Jurors in Belfast on Tuesday heard Sharon Carrillo admit in a police interview to abusing her daughter, Marissa Kennedy, who was found beaten to death at a home in 2018 in Stockton Springs, The Portland Press Herald reported.

Sharon Carrillo faces 25 years to life in prison on a charge of depraved indifference murder. The girl’s stepfather, Julio Carrillo, was sentenced to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the same case.

In the recordings, Sharon Carrillo is heard telling detectives that Marissa’s punishments grew more severe because she continued to act out. She said she would strike her daughter with a belt repeatedly, and her husband hit Marissa with a mop handle so hard that it broke.

The couple didn’t seek medical help until Marissa’s nose and mouth started bleeding, Sharon Carrillo said. The mother also described how she and her husband planned to say Marissa had harmed herself while she was alone in the basement the night before she died.

On the recording, Sharon Carrillo sometimes appears calm and sometimes can be heard sobbing.

“She didn’t deserve to get beaten to death,” Sharon Carrillo said at one point.

The defense contends Sharon Carrillo gave a false confession because both she and her daughter were victims of abuse at the hands of Julio Carrillo. Her lawyers claim Julio Carrillo was solely responsible for the girl’s death.

But prosecutors say she is just as guilty as her estranged husband.

The state medical examiner’s office concluded the girl was a victim of battered child syndrome.

Before the trial began, Sharon Carrillo’s attorney sought to have her declared incompetent, but the judge ruled her competent enough to stand trial.

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