Trial Underway for Child Killing That Led to Reforms

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A Maine woman accused of killing her 10-year-old daughter last year is on trial.

Sharon Carrillo is charged with the 2018 murder of her daughter, Marissa Kennedy. Friday morning, a jury listened to state prosecutors and Carrillo's lawyers begin to explain why she should or should not be responsible for Kennedy's death.

Her husband, Julio Carrillo, has already pleaded guilty to murder and is serving a 55-year prison sentence.

In his opening statement, Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber said Maine would present evidence proving Sharon Carrillo is guilty of murder, not a witness or solely a victim of her husband.

Macomber told the jury that evidence would include photos that "are going to speak volumes to you about the torture Marissa Kennedy had been subjected to."

Other evidence, some of which was presented in public to the judge at a May 2019 court hearing, includes a confession where Sharon Carrillo reveals Kennedy was beaten with a mop, belt and other items; pictures from Julio Carrillo's phone of torturous acts; and autopsy results revealing Kennedy's body had open infected wounds and dead heart cells.

"She had hair loss and her immune system was compromised by constantly being flooded with adrenaline," said Macomber.

A short time after the prosecution finished its opening statements, Carrillo's defense attorney, Christopher MacLean, outlined the case his team would make.

Using bullet points displayed on a screen for the jury, MacLean explained Carrillo does not dispute most of the state's evidence, which is why her defense thinks it's unnecessary to discuss in detail at trial.

"It's just going to make you all sick to your stomachs," said MacLean.

The defense blames Kennedy's death solely on Julio Carrillo and says Sharon Carrillo has a very low IQ.

They call her a victim of his abuse who adopted his narrative.

"What kind of sick sadist keeps photographs of a child being tortured to death?" said MacLean. "There is no question that Marissa died an absolutely terrible and horrible death."

Carrillo's trial is expected to last one or two weeks.

Two convicted child killers, Julio Carrillo and Shawna Gatto, may testify as witnesses.

Kennedy's case was one of several child death cases that has led to a review of Maine's child welfare system.

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