Eugene Martineau, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2015 death of his infant son, will spend 15 years in prison under the terms of a sentence handed down Tuesday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton indicated he might have imposed a slightly harsher sentence, but noted that prosecutors and Martineau’s lawyers had agreed to a 30-year sentence. The two sides had only disagreed on the amount of time to be served in prison, with defense lawyers asking for 10 years and prosecutors seeking 15 years.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin called Martineau’s treatment of his son, Leo, “torture” before the 3-month-old was hospitalized and died in October 2015. An emergency room doctor said the infant had “a constellation of new and old injuries,” including hemorrhaging, more than two dozen broken bones and severe bruises.

Martineau, now 25, was taking care of the infant in a house in Standish occupied by nine other adults and some other children while the child’s mother worked. Robbin said he was constantly frustrated by the amount of care the infant needed, and injured the child repeatedly.

Leo Josephs had been born prematurely at 30 weeks with his twin sister, Leah. Leah Josephs was in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit until a few weeks after her brother died and has since been adopted by her grandparents.

Martineau, who goes by the name “Charlie,” did not react to the sentence, although he did cry at several points during the hearing, in particular when his daughter’s grandmother described Leah’s’ favorite activities to Horton.


He also spoke briefly, apologizing to Julia Josephs, the mother of the twins, to the grandparents of his children and “for not being a good father.”

His son, Martineau said, “deserved much better from me. I wasn’t even close to being as ready (to be a parent) as I wanted to be.”

Martineau said he was excited at the birth of his children, but once he had to care for his son, “my anger and frustration overcame.”

Prosecutors dropped murder charges against Martineau in exchange for the guilty plea to manslaughter. Although they agreed on the base sentence of 30 years – the maximum for manslaughter – they could not agree on the amount of time that Martineau would spend behind bars.

Heather Gonzalez, one of Martineau’s lawyers, said her client had a terrible childhood, with his mother locking him and his siblings in their room so she could watch television. Then, Gonzalez said, his mother turned Martineau and his younger brother over to state care when Martineau was 9. She said he was placed in nine foster homes from that time until he was 18.

“Charlie didn’t have a home,” she said, and suffered from “the trauma of instability. He never had a chance to catch his breath, ever.”


But Robbin said most survivors of childhood abuse don’t turn out to abuse their own children and said most people in Maine accused of manslaughter of children in similar circumstances have received much stiffer sentences.

Horton said 15 years more accurately fit the seriousness of the charges and indicated that other similar cases in Maine have drawn more prison time. He indicated he might have considered up to 20 years in prison for Martineau, but agreed to go along with the maximum time to be served under the plea deal.

Martineau can seek a review of the sentence, but one of his lawyers, Clifford Strike, indicated that was unlikely.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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