The final report from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in the case of a Troy woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her infant son in January has not been completed, forcing a rescheduling of a dispositional conference that was set for Monday.

Miranda Hopkins, 32, was back in court Monday, but the scheduled status conference was moved to June 5, said Laura Shaw McDonald, one of her court-appointed lawyers. She said a portion of the medical evaluation is being done in another state, so it’s taking longer to get it back than usual.

“We’re still waiting for discovery from the state. Their medical examiner’s report is not complete yet,” McDonald said by phone Monday morning. “So until we get the rest of the discovery, we can’t really do anything else with the case. We can’t really schedule anything or make any decisions about where exactly the case is going and when.”

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting the case, did not return a message for comment on the progress of the case Monday.

McDonald said the medical reports should be ready by the June conference with Justice Robert Murray in Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast. She said a dispositional conference is an opportunity for the prosecutor, the defense team and the presiding judge to get together in chambers to talk about pending issues, where the case is going in terms of scheduling and which matters need to be heard first in the case.

Hopkins originally was charged with knowing or depraved indifference murder, punishable by 25 years to life in prison, related to the death Jan. 12 of 7-week-old Jaxson Hopkins. She was indicted by a Waldo County grand jury in February on a lesser charge of manslaughter.


Manslaughter is a class A felony, as is a charge of murder, but it carries a lesser penalty. It’s punishable by a period of time in prison not to exceed 30 years.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt but is a determination by the grand jury that there’s enough evidence in a case to proceed with trial.

Hopkins called 911 from her trailer home Jan. 12, saying her baby was unresponsive. The infant, who was born Nov. 21, was pronounced dead at the scene. Hopkins lived at 211 North Dixmont Road with Jaxson and two other sons, ages 6 and 8.

In a police affidavit filed with the court, the baby’s cause of death is listed as blunt force head injuries that included cuts and bruises on the head and skull, rib fractures, and bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Hopkins was released on $50,000 worth of property and has been ordered not to use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs. She is subject to random searches and testing. She is allowed to visit with her two sons under bail conditions.

Hopkins contends in court documents that one or both of her boys, both of whom are autistic, might have caused the death of their infant brother, possibly by crushing the child while rolling over in bed.


But police and the state prosecutor offer a different picture of the events of Jan. 12, using Hopkins’ own admission that she had been drinking whiskey and took a dose of the antihistamine drug Benadryl, according to a police affidavit filed with the court. Hopkins allegedly told authorities she had awakened to find her baby cold, white and “beat to hell.” She also told police she must have “blacked out” and was “so drunk that she did not remember,” according to the police affidavit.

Hopkins maintains that she is innocent. Murray ordered that a psychological evaluation be done on Hopkins by an examiner from the State Forensics Service.

McDonald said Hopkins is staying with relatives, helping family and friends and keeping herself busy with household chores and yard work as spring approaches. She said Hopkins is exercising and trying to keep her thoughts positive. McDonald would not say if Hopkins has seen or visited with her two sons.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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