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Judge declines to remove prosecutors from child death case

April 13, 2018

BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A judge on Friday rejected a request by defense attorneys to remove prosecutors handling the case of a Maine mother accused of beating her 10-year-old daughter to death with her husband’s help.

Justice Robert Murray wasted little time in ruling against the request, which Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber called “shameless posturing.”

Prosecutors were accused at a hearing on Thursday of using an illegal subpoena to get confidential records from Sharon Carrillo’s former school and employer in New York. The judge previously ruled the subpoenas containing a fictitious court date were improper and that prosecutors could not keep any documents that they received.

Sharon and Julio Carrillo have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of Sharon Carrillo’s daughter, Marissa Kennedy.

The state medical examiner’s office concluded the girl was a victim of battered child syndrome, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services launched an investigation after reports emerged that child welfare agents failed to act after being alerted to suspected abuse.

Investigators said the pair initially tried to stage the basement of their home in Stockton Springs to make it appear that she was the victim of an accidental fall. They later acknowledged taking turns beating the girl before her death in late February.

Christopher MacLean, the lawyer for Sharon Carrillo, said Friday that he’ll appeal to the judge for reconsideration, and to the state supreme court, if necessary.

He said this type of misconduct is so rare that there’s no case law in Maine. The judge has to draw guidance from cases in other states, he said.

“It’s convenient for prosecutors to say Chris Maclean is showboating, but I’ve never seen such an egregious overstepping of the bounds by members of the attorney general’s office,” he said.

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