The attorneys for Sharon Carrillo sought to have the Maine Attorney General’s Office removed from the murder case against her.

The state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that state attorneys may continue to prosecute the case of a woman accused of beating her 10-year-old daughter to death.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal filed on behalf of Sharon Carrillo.

Marissa Kennedy

Carrillo and her husband, Julio Carrillo, 51, are accused of beating 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy to death on Feb. 25 at the Stockton Springs condominium the family shared. Marissa was Sharon Carrillo’s daughter.

The pair are charged with depraved indifference murder.

Carrillo’s attorneys had sought in April to have the Maine Attorney General’s Office removed from the case, arguing that prosecutors illegally used subpoenas to obtain records from a school she attended in New York.

The high court ruling upholds the decision of Superior Court Justice Robert Murray, who dismissed the defense’s motion and ruled that the AG’s Office could remain on the case. He ordered, however, that the records obtained by the prosecution be turned over to the court and sealed.

Leane Zainea and Donald Macomber are prosecuting the case.

The high court ruled that because no final action has been taken on the case, it would be premature to act on the request to disqualify the prosecutors.

The defense had argued that if Sharon Carrillo were to testify at trial, the state prosecutors would have read private and confidential information about her, and while they would be prohibited from using that information, the knowledge could give them an advantage.

Carrillo is represented by attorneys Christopher MacLean and Laura Shaw of Camden.

MacLean did not immediately respond to an email request for comment Tuesday.

Marissa Kennedy suffered months of abuse before her death in late February in their Stockton Springs home, according to investigative filings in court.

Marissa’s death, along with the abuse death of 4-year-old Kendall Chick of Wiscasset, prompted legislators to launch hearings into the state’s child welfare system. Shawna Gatto, the fiancee of Chick’s paternal grandfather, has been charged with depraved indifference murder in her death.

Authorities say both girls were severely abused at home over a long period of time, and questions have been raised about why the Maine Department of Health and Human Services never picked up on the dangerous situations or failed to follow up on reports of suspected abuse.

An initial report by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability faulted DHHS for not following its own policies and procedures when assessing the safety of one girl’s placement, while suggesting agencies failed to share information that, when pieced together, might have called attention to the abuse.

The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee voted last week to subpoena the head of the DHHS to testify after he failed to attend a hearing on recent, high-profile child abuse deaths.

The unanimous, bipartisan vote came moments after lawmakers learned that DHHS Commissioner Ricker Hamilton would not attend the meeting despite assurances from Gov. Paul LePage that he would allow department representatives to participate in committee work sessions.

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