By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

BELFAST, Maine (AP) - A Maine jury on Wednesday convicted a woman of murder in the death of her 10-year-old daughter, whose death prompted changes to the state’s child protection system.

Police charged Sharon Carrillo, 35, with the murder of Marissa Kennedy, who was found dead at the family’s home in Stockton Springs in 2018. The jury took less than five hours to reach a verdict on Wednesday.

Attorneys painted vastly different pictures of Carrillo in their closing arguments Tuesday. Prosecutors told jurors that Carrillo was an active participant in beating Marissa. But the defense suggested there was no evidence that Carrillo “is anything other than a gentle, quiet soul.”

Marissa was repeatedly abused in Stockton Springs. The crime shocked the state and spurred changes in the state’s child protection system. Investigations into Marissa’s death and the death of four-year-old Kendall Chick in a Wiscasset case revealed missed opportunities for the state to intervene.

“All the evidence provided in court was available to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services at all times, for anyone to draw conclusions. For them to draw the conclusion that Marissa was not in some form of grave danger is just mind-boggling to me,” Carrillo’s attorney, Chris MacLean, told the Bangor Daily News.



MacLean said he’d appeal the verdict.

The jurors who convicted Carrillo did so after eight days of listening to and witnessing frequently difficult testimony and evidence, including pictures of Marissa’s injuries.

Carrillo’s estranged husband Julio Carrillo pleaded guilty to Marissa’s murder earlier this year and is serving a 55-year sentence.

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