SKOWHEGAN — A Fairfield woman charged in the death of her infant son in December has been indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on two charges.

Kayla Stewart, who turned 21 this month, is charged by the grand jury with both murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of the child on or about Dec. 30, according to the indictment handed up Tuesday in county court. Both charges are class A felonies punishable, upon conviction, by a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors said at a Feb. 19 bail hearing that Kayla Stewart’s baby was born alive and healthy but died after she either suffocated it or left it to die in her garage and that she allegedly told a state police detective that she “made sure” the baby was dead.

The autopsy report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the baby’s height, weight and size were consistent with that of a full-term baby, and the baby’s color and the fact his lungs had drawn air indicated it was born alive. The cause of death was reported to be a homicide from suffocation or smothering, or neglect — being left to die in a cold garage with a lack of care.

The indictment for murder charges that Stewart caused the infant’s death through conduct that “manifested a depraved indifference to the value of human life.” The child’s date of birth listed in the indictment is Dec. 30, the same day as the alleged crimes.

The manslaughter indictment alleges that Stewart acted “recklessly or with criminal negligence” in the death of a child who had not yet reached the age of 6.

While the case is being prosecuted by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said it is not uncommon to bring more than one charge in a homicide case.

“We often charge cases with more than one theory of the case,” Maloney said, depending on the alleged perpetrator’s mental state. “If she were convicted of both counts, they would be consolidated before sentencing. This means she will only be sentenced on one count because both counts involved the same actions.”

Stewart entered no plea Jan. 25 in a video appearance in court from the county jail. She was arrested Jan. 22 at the 457 Norridgewock Road, Fairfield, residence she shared with her boyfriend, Nicholas Blood.

State police found the full-term baby boy Jan. 11, with a placenta still attached, wrapped in a blanket and trash bags under an oil tank and behind a sheet of insulation after Stewart’s mother had called police with her concerns about the baby’s fate two days earlier, according to the affidavit written by Maine State Police Detective Scott Bryant.

Stewart’s attorney, Pamela Ames, told the court that Stewart had a miscarriage and was not responsible for the child’s death.

Assistant Attorney General John Alsop, who is prosecuting the case, called Stewart’s behavior bizarre, and he used it as an argument for not releasing her on bail, along with statements that she frequently has used heroin and opioids. Alsop has not said whether charges against Blood are being considered. The prosecutor was out of town Wednesday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Stewart was ordered held without bail and remains at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison, awaiting her next court appearance.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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