AUGUSTA — The Fairfield woman charged in connection with the death of her newborn son nearly a year ago was in court Thursday with attorneys discussing possible plea deals in the case.

Kayla Stewart, 21, was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury in March on charges of both murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of the child on Dec. 30, 2015. The body of her unnamed infant son was found by police in a garage in January.

She pleaded not guilty later in March to the charges, which are Class A felonies punishable by 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Skowhegan attorney John Martin, who is representing Stewart along with attorney Pamela Ames, said there was discussion at Thursday’s judicial settlement conference, but the parties are not ready to reveal any of the details or if a plea agreement has been reached.

“We discussed different scenarios of possible plea negotiations,” Martin said by phone Thursday afternoon. “We went back and forth and will be discussing it with Kayla. We’re not ruling out a trial; there is still that option.”

Results of that conference were not included in a court file, which was being returned to Somerset County, and further action in the case is to be scheduled by a court clerk in Somerset County. A number of documents in the court file are labeled as “impounded,” meaning they are not available for public view.


Stewart, who remains in custody at the Somerset County jail in East Madison, was brought to the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta for the conference before Maine Supreme Court Associate Justice Andrew Mead. The prosecutor is Assistant Attorney General John Alsop.

A court document filed Nov. 2, 2016, indicates the defense attorneys have been awaiting a report from Charles Robinson, a forensic psychologist, regarding “abnormal condition of the mind,” and states that a written report will not be available until late December.

Martin said Thursday he could not comment on whether Stewart had been placed at any time at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta or if she had undergone a forensic evaluation to determine mental competency.

According to state prosecutors, Stewart allegedly murdered the child either by suffocating or strangling it or through neglect — by leaving it in a cold, unheated garage — after she gave birth.

Her mother, Lucille Stewart, reported a possible suspicious death to police in early January when she realized her daughter was no longer pregnant. Stewart was arrested on Jan. 22 after police said they found the remains of the baby in the garage of the home she shared with her boyfriend, who has not been charged.

A police affidavit filed in the case says that Stewart initially denied being pregnant and later gave state police multiple versions of what happened to the infant.

Stewart’s attorney at the time said Stewart had a miscarriage and panicked. The medical examiner, though, found that the full-term baby was born alive and died from asphyxiation or neglect. She allegedly later told a state police detective that she “made sure” the baby was dead.

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.

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