BELFAST — The lawyer for a Troy woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her 7-week-old son is filing a motion to have a polygraph examination introduced as evidence that her client did not commit the crime.

The attorney, Laura Shaw, filed a motion to admit the test and its results, as they “overwhelmingly demonstrated” that Miranda Hopkins was innocent. Shaw’s filing said that the examination conducted by licensed polygraph administrator Mark Teceno indicated there was more than a 99 percent certainty that Hopkins was telling the truth, and that Hopkins willingly submitted to the examination and stated she did not inflict the injuries on her son.

Hopkins called 911 in January 2017 from her trailer home in Troy, saying her infant son,, Jaxson Hopkins, was unresponsive. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the baby’s 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.

A LESSER CHARGE

Hopkins originally was charged with knowing or depraved indifference murder, punishable by 25 years to life in prison. She was indicted by a Waldo County grand jury in February on a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Hopkins allegedly told authorities she woke up and found her baby cold, white and “beat to hell.” The infant was pronounced dead at the scene. Hopkins lived with Jaxson and two other sons, ages 6 and 8, who both have autism, she told police. She told authorities it was possible the older boy crawled into bed and crushed or suffocated the baby.

But Hopkins allegedly also told police she must have “blacked out” and was “so drunk that she did not remember,” saying she had drank whiskey and ingested the antihistamine Benadryl, according to a police affidavit filed with the court. She was arrested Jan. 13, the day after her son died.

Hopkins contended in court documents that one or both of her other sons might have killed their infant brother, possibly by crushing the child while rolling over in bed.

Hopkins is expected to be in court Thursday to suppress statements she made during interviews with police. Shaw said none of Hopkins’ statements can be considered voluntary based on the way the police handled the interviews, questioning Hopkins for 12 hours at a time and not allowing her to call family members.

The attorney general’s office was provided a written report after the test from Teceno, which stated he met with Hopkins three times to complete the examination, Shaw’s filing said. The first meeting was at the Two Bridges Regional Jail, where she was introduced to the process.

SECOND MEETING

The second meeting was at Shaw’s office, where Teceno questioned Hopkins about the allegations and her personal history and where she was “very emotional” and “often cried,” according to the report. Teceno deemed she was not suitable for the examination that day, and she would be “only marginally suitable for a polygraph examination on another day.”

Teceno met with her again the next day, Aug. 3, when she seemed “more composed and less emotionally fragile.” She was deemed suitable for the examination and Teceno’s results concluded that the data collected from Hopkins “was not likely collected from a person being deceptive.”

The filing concedes that the law court generally has stated polygraph examinations are not sufficiently reliable to allow the results or a defendant’s willingness or unwillingness to take the test as evidence.

But Shaw states that the decision to exclude polygraph evidence from admission in trial is not binding.

She also said that at least 18 states admit polygraph results “upon the stipulation of the parties,” and argued that “polygraph examinations are scientifically more reliable than other forms of evidence that are consistently admitted into evidence by this court” and that the majority of laboratory and field studies place accuracy rates of these between 85 percent and 90 percent.

Colin Ellis can be contacted at 861-9253 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: colinoellis