AUGUSTA – Maine State Police detectives and experts at the agency’s crime laboratory testified Wednesday about various evidence found inside the Wiscasset home where 4-year-old Kendall Chick died in December 2017.

Two detectives and two crime lab employees were called to provide more details about several items in the home – a pillow, sheets, towels – that tested positive for blood and matched Chick’s DNA. Additionally, they detailed blood stains found on walls inside the home that also matched the girl.

Wednesday marked the third day of the murder trial of Shawna Gatto, 44, who is accused of beating Chick to death. So far, prosecutors have laid out much of their case against Gatto, who was the primary caretaker for Chick after the girl had been removed from her parents’ care because of their ongoing substance abuse problems.

Chick’s death, followed closely by the death of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy, has led to a sustained examination of Maine’s child protection system and widespread reforms that are still ongoing.

While the first two days of Gatto’s trial focused on interviews between the defendant and police after Chick died, as well as detailed testimony about the girl’s autopsy and various injuries, Wednesday shifted to physical evidence.

Sgt. Jason Richards with the state police testified about finding signs of blood in the bathtub, where Chick reportedly was placed just before she fell unconscious, and also on the wall and floor in the bathroom. He further detailed blood stains found on bedding items on the girl’s bed. Finally, he said a head-sized defect in the drywall inside the girl’s bedroom showed blood stains and an embedded hair that matches Chick’s DNA.

During cross-examination, Gatto’s attorney, Jeremy Pratt, asked Richards whether he could tell the age of the blood or how it got there. Richard said, “No.”

Richards’ testimony was followed by Melissa Robitaille, a forensic chemist, and Kathy MacMillan, a DNA expert. Each said that their work concluded that nearly all of the blood stains found in the home matched Chick.

The state was expected to rest its case Wednesday and turn things over to Pratt, who has yet to make an opening statement or detail his defense of Gatto.

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