BELFAST — Miranda Hopkins, the Troy mother who was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of her 7-week old son in January, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Waldo County Superior Court.

A jury found Hopkins, 32, guilty in early November, rejecting the defense’s arguments that one of Hopkins’ two other sons, both of whom have autistm, killed the baby.

The infant, Jaxson, was pronounced dead last January at the family’s trailer park home after Hopkins placed a distressed 911 call to police, saying Jaxson was unresponsive. The cause of the baby’s death was listed as blunt force trauma that included cuts and bruises on the head and skull, rib fractures, and bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Hopkins was arrested the next day and originally was charged with murder, which is punishable by 25 years to life in prison. She was indicted by a Waldo County grand jury in February on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Hopkins initially told police investigators that she woke to find Jaxson cold and stiff to the touch in her bed, but later admitted she lied after having fallen asleep on the floor in her other two sons’ room, leaving the infant on the couch in the living room. She admitted to having drunk five to seven shots of whiskey that night, smoked marijuana and taken a Benadryl for congestion.

Defense attorneys for Hopkins maintained her innocence throughout the trial, arguing that it was one of her other two sons — both of whom are severely autistic and nonverbal — who killed Jaxson that night. Witnesses called by the defense claimed the older boys, who then were 6 to 8 years old, could become violent. The defense said the two boys relied heavily on routine, which was broken when Hopkins passed out in their room with Jaxson lying on the couch, and that it was not a safe environment for the infant boy.

One of the boys can communicate somewhat through a tablet device. Both boys attend special-needs classes.

After being found guilty Nov. 7, Hopkins was released on a $100,000 surety bond, with her bail set at $50,000 cash. Surety is different from typical bail in that it does not require the full amount upfront.

The jury deliberated for several hours before finding Hopkins guilty. Manslaughter, a class A felony, is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

After the guilty verdict was rendered, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, the prosecutor in the case, said the state wanted to see Hopkins given a long sentence.

Hopkins’ defense team had sought to have the results of a polygraph test introduced as evidence during the trial, which they claim demonstrated a 99 percent certainty that Hopkins was telling the truth when she said she did not kill her son Jaxson.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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