Miranda Hopkins, the Troy mother charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of her infant son last month, is free on bail and will be allowed to see her two other young sons.

Hopkins was released Tuesday night from Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset after a Waldo County grand jury returned an indictment of manslaughter against her. The original charge of murder she faced was dismissed in favor of manslaughter, which made her eligible for bail under Maine law.

Laura Shaw McDonald, one of two attorneys representing the woman, said Hopkins was released on $50,000.

McDonald said she met with Hopkins on Wednesday morning. The indictment charges that Hopkins “did recklessly or with criminal negligence” cause the death of Jaxson Hopkins, who was born Nov. 21. She was arrested on Jan. 13.

“I did meet with her,” McDonald said Thursday. “We enjoyed a tearful reunion the morning after she was released. She is very excited and relieved to be out. She was overwhelmed with support from family and friends who immediately reached out to her after finding out that she had been released.”

Hopkins, 32, originally was charged with knowing or depraved indifference murder, punishable by 25 years to life in prison, in the Jan. 12 death of 7-week-old Jaxson Hopkins. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

McDonald said conditions of Hopkins’ bail don’t prevent her from visiting with her two sons, 6 and 8, but she is to have no contact otherwise with children under age 6. The two boys are staying with relatives.

McDonald would not say where Hopkins is staying as she awaits arraignment, scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 24 in Belfast.

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 prosecutors offer a different version of the events of Jan. 12, using Hopkins’ own admission that she had been drinking whiskey and had taken a dose of the antihistamine drug Benadryl, according to a police affidavit filed with the court.

In the affidavit, 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 allegedly told authorities she had awakened to find her baby cold, white and “beat to hell.” The infant was pronounced dead at the scene. Hopkins lived with Jaxson and the two other sons. In interviews with police, Hopkins said the older boy possibly crawled into bed and crushed or suffocated the baby.

But Hopkins also told police she must have “blacked out” and was “so drunk that she did not remember,” according to the police affidavit filed with the court.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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