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Courts and Crime

Sharon Carrillo Found Guilty In Death Of 10-Year-Old Daughter

Jennifer Mitchell
Maine Public
Assistant attorneys general Donald Macomber and Leane Zainea outside Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast on Wednesday. Macomber holds a photo of Marissa Kennedy.

Sharon Carrillo has been found guilty of depraved indifference murder in the beating death of her 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated about 4 1/2 hours. Carrillo cried as the verdict was read.

Carrillo faces 25 years to life in prison, and her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7.

Carrillo’s attorney Chris MacLean expressed disappointment with the verdict handed down in Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast. He says his client intends to fight for the lowest possible sentence.

Credit Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public
Maine Public
Sharon Carrillo (second from left) cries as the verdict is read in her conviction in Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast on Wednesday.

“And as soon as that’s over we intend to make an appeal to the Maine Supreme Court,” he says.

MacLean acknowledges that it must have been difficult for the jurors to grapple with some of issues with which they were presented.

“There were novel issues presented of domestic violence and child abuse, and the effect that domestic violence can have on a victim. There was expert testimony about that issue that is rarely, if ever, heard in courtrooms in the state of Maine,” he says.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea says it’s the state position that whether Carrillo was a victim of domestic violence doesn’t matter.

Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber says the state’s focus has been on seeking justice for Marissa, and will pursue a life sentence. He says Carrillo refused to take responsibility.

Credit Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public
Maine Public
Defense attorney Chris MacLean

“She cast herself as the victim. The jury, by its verdict, rejected that finding,” he says.

Carrillo’s father, Joseph Kennedy, said there are many people to blame for Marissa’s death.

“Too many times things were reported to DHHS and the police that they never arrived to investigate or never made any attempt investigate the reports,” he says.

Marissa’s stepfather, Julio Carrillo, is serving 55 years in prison for the crime after pleading guilty to the same charge.

Maine Public reporters Jennifer Mitchell and Nora Flaherty contributed to this story.