Eugene “Charlie” Martineau was formally charged with depraved indifference murder in the death of his infant son on Monday, weeping as he shuffled into Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court with his ankles shackled and a yellow maximum security inmate jumpsuit draped on his thin frame.

Martineau, 24, was charged by the state with causing the death of Leo Josephs.

Leo and his twin sister, Leah Josephs, were born prematurely on July 2. Leo came home from the hospital in August, but Leah has remained in the hospital because of complications from the early birth.

A neighbor in the multifamily home in Standish where Martineau and the twins’ mother, Julia Josephs, 21, were living, attended Monday’s court hearing in Portland and said she saw bruises on Leo days before his fatal injuries. Belinda Moore believes state child welfare workers had been called about the boy.

State officials would not confirm that a referral was made about either of the Joseph twins or what, if any, action was taken.

Police were called Wednesday to a home in Gray where a relative of Martineau lives and where the fatal assault occurred, police and prosecutors said. Leo was taken to Maine Medical Center and died Saturday. Martineau was arrested shortly afterward.

As Martineau came into the courtroom on Monday, his sister, who was sitting in the front row of the gallery, started sobbing.

Flanked by his attorneys, Clifford Strike and Heather Gonzales, Martineau told Justice Andrew Horton that he understood the charges against him. Depraved indifference murder differs from knowing and intentional murder in that Martineau did not necessarily intend to kill Leo but that his conduct showed a depraved indifference to the child’s life, according to the state’s charge.

Martineau was not asked to enter a plea.

At Strike’s request, Horton impounded the affidavit describing why police had cause to arrest Martineau, keeping it secret until after Martineau appears before a grand jury.

Horton granted the request without asking Strike to explain it. Strike said later that he asked for the impoundment because he had not had a chance to review it in detail or discuss it with his client.

The state, which did not object to the impoundment, plans to present the case against Martineau to a grand jury in the first week of December, Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman said.

Martineau is being held in Cumberland County Jail on $150,000 bail. He is listed as homeless in jail records and did not have enough money to hire his own attorney.

Martineau is to have no contact with Julia Josephs, who wasn’t in court Monday, or Leah Josephs.

Moore, the neighbor in Standish, said that her sister took in Julia Josephs, Martineau and the baby because they had nowhere to go. Moore said her sister, whom she declined to identify without her consent, knew one of the couple’s relatives and offered to let them stay in her daughter’s room at a multifamily building at 180 Bonny Eagle Road in Standish.

The house is a sprawling, three-unit home and a guest house, all shared by members of the same family. On Monday pet ducks roamed the yard scattered with children’s toys, bicycles, a tire swing, discarded furniture, lawnmowers and propane grills. Halloween ghosts made from fabric hung in the trees facing the road.

Moore said the young couple were overwhelmed by parenthood. She said they argued often.

“I even asked her if (Martineau) was abusing her,” Moore said. “She said she loved him and wanted to make it work with him.”

The couple lived rent free in exchange for helping out with household expenses, Moore said.

Moore helped care for Leo, and said she knew the baby “more than I knew Julia or the father. I took care of the baby because they weren’t good parents.”

She said that after about a month, she saw that Leo had marks on his face, which she described as bruises.

“I’ve seen a few on the face,” she said. “I think they were just totally hurting the baby.”

Moore did not call Child Protective Services to report the suspected abuse, but she believes others did. The marks eventually faded. She said a visiting nurse checked on the baby a month ago but took no action.

Moore said she was waiting for state workers to show up but they never did.

Following the hearing, another woman started yelling at a young man who was there to support Martineau, saying he should have intervened to protect the baby. The encounter ended as the man got on the elevator and the woman walked away. It was unclear who the woman was or what relationship the man had to Martineau.

Moore said her sister determined the couple were not saving money for their own apartment and told them they would have to leave by Nov. 1. Moore said that coincided with the couple keeping to themselves in their room. She didn’t see Leo for about a month.

When she saw him last week, he again had marks on his face, she said.

The couple left last Tuesday to visit Martineau’s mother in Gray. It was the day before Leo was taken to the hospital. Moore said the couple took a diaper bag and a playpen but not much else, indicating to her they planned to return soon.

While she was speaking, two Maine State Police detectives conducted interviews with other residents of the Standish home and stayed throughout the afternoon. Moore said she was fond of Leo because he was a fighter, and that he had come a long way since being born prematurely. She said it’s important he gets justice.

“I will be here for every court date until justice is done,” she said.

Martineau’s brother, Zachariah Martineau, posted on his Facebook page that he and his siblings had grown up in an abusive household, lived on the street for a time before living in a series of foster homes.

“My brother was a good man … with a messed up head from not having been brought up properly throughout his childhood,” he said in the post.

A telephone with a number listed for Julia Josephs was disconnected. By Monday afternoon, her Facebook page had been taken down.

Some aspects of Leo Josephs’ death resemble those of a homicide in Arundel in 2012.

Ethan Henderson, a twin, was killed by Gordon Collins-Faunce, who was severely abused as a young child, and had reconnected with his birth parents shortly before the birth of his twins. One day in a rage, he killed his 2 1/2-month-old son.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 14 years probation.

For information about dealing with a child crying incessantly, go to: purplecrying.info

Staff Writer Bob Keyes contributed to this report.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]


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