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Defense seeks return of cellphones found in Carrillo home

August 7, 2019

BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A woman awaiting trial for the fatal beating of her 10-year-old daughter wants prosecutors to return seven cellphones, at least one of which contains photos of the victim on the day she died, her lawyer said Wednesday.

The cellphones were found in April by Sharon Carrillo’s father, who owned the Stockton Springs condominium where Carrillo’s daughter, Marissa Kennedy, was killed in 2018. He turned them over to the defense when he saw photos of Marissa on the day of her death; defense lawyers then gave them to law enforcement officials.

Now the defense team wants them back, accusing law enforcement of inaction.

“At the very least, the state is depriving Sharon Carrillo of relevant evidence — and is potentially depriving her of helpful evidence,” defense attorney Laura Shaw said Wednesday.

The state already seized other cellphones that contained evidence: A photo retrieved from one of them showed Marissa Kennedy and Sharon Carrillo naked on the floor with their arms held in the air, consistent with Sharon Carrillo’s contention that they were abused by her husband, Julio Carrillo.

The attorney general’s office has not yet replied to the defense request. The attorney general’s office had no comment Wednesday, a spokesman said.

Julio Carrillo pleaded guilty last month to murder. Sharon Carrillo wants a judge to dismiss the charges against her, citing her husband’s emotional and physical abuse.

Prosecutors said her husband’s guilty plea doesn’t change the case against her, and they intend to argue that Sharon Carrillo is just as guilty as her husband.

The state medical examiner’s office concluded Marissa was a victim of battered child syndrome and her injuries included bleeding in the brain, a lacerated liver and “multiple old injuries.”

The legal battle over the phones was first reported by the Bangor Daily News.

Shaw said she didn’t review the phones before handing them over to law enforcement, but she believes they contain evidence that’s relevant to the case.

“We don’t think it’s far-fetched to assume that there could be additional evidence on these phones,” she said.

The deaths of Marissa Kennedy and another girl, 4-year-old Kendall Chick in December 2017, led to changes in Maine’s child protective system.

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