BELFAST — Jury selection wrapped up Thursday afternoon for the trial of a Stockton Springs woman charged with murder in the death of her 10-year-old daughter last year.

Marissa Kennedy

Sharon Carrillo’s trial is slated to begin Friday morning at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast and could last up to two weeks as state prosecutors seek a second murder conviction in the death of Marissa Kennedy. Carrillo’s husband and Kennedy’s stepfather, Julio Carrillo, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August to 55 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that the couple repeatedly and severely beat the 10-year-old in the months before she died of what the state medical examiner’s office determined was “battered child syndrome.” Marissa’s death, along with the abuse-related death of a 4-year-old Wiscasset girl months earlier, shocked the public and revealed flaws in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ child protection programs.

After two full days of the jury selection process, Superior Court Justice Robert Murray instructed the 16 members of the jury – 12 jurors and four alternates – to return to the courthouse Friday morning for the trial. The jury and alternates are composed of 11 men and five women.

“Now that you are the jury, you should not talk to anyone about this case,” Murray said. “That includes anyone at home, anyone you have associations with at work or in social settings.”

Attorneys for Carrillo and the state’s prosecuting team said afterward they were pleased to have a jury seated so the trial could begin.


An estimated 180 people were called to Belfast on Wednesday for the jury selection process. After completing a lengthy questionnaire and reviewing a list of 100-plus potential witnesses, individual potential jurors were asked questions by Murray or the attorneys in a separate room as the group sought to line up an agreed-upon set of jurists.

The trial is expected to feature graphic images and testimony of the injuries sustained by Marissa. While Julio Carrillo pleaded guilty to depraved indifference murder in her death, Sharon Carrillo’s defense attorneys have described their client as another victim — along with her daughter — of Julio Carillo’s physical and sexual abuse.

On Wednesday morning, Murray ruled that Sharon Carrillo was competent to stand trial despite psychological evaluations concluding that she had a low IQ. Carrillo’s intelligence as well as the domestic abuse that her attorneys say she endured at the hands of her husband are likely to be part of the legal defense against the murder charges.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, are expected to refer to statements that Carrillo made to police about her involvement in the abuse of her daughter.

If convicted of depraved indifference murder, Carrillo faces 25 years to life in prison.

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