ELLSWORTH — Justice Robert Murray ruled Monday that a Bucksport woman accused of murdering 2-year-old Kloe Hawksley will be held without bail, citing, in part, a lack of a stable living arrangement.

Defendant Savannah Smith, 21, cried intermittently during the bail hearing, which lasted more than two hours.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin argued against bail. Kloe died after suffering a “blow to the abdomen with such force that it severed her stomach from her small intestine,” Robbin told the judge.

Smith was “the last adult” to be with the toddler before she was found dead on the morning of Oct. 18, 2017, Robbin said.

A 911 call was made from the home of Tyler Hawksley – Kloe’s father – at 7 a.m. Emergency medical technicians arrived around 7:30, according to court testimony.

Smith and Tyler Hawksley had been in a relationship, according to testimony. Smith was not Kloe’s biological mother.

Murray said more information would be needed about Smith’s living arrangements in order to grant bail.

“There is not a plan for where this defendant would be if bail were granted,” Murray said.

Maine State Police arrested Smith on April 4 at the Spring Fountain Motel in Bucksport, where she had been living.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Social Service Supervisor Anna Edlund testified that the department had concerns about Smith’s living situation.

The department has had custody of two of Smith’s children since the day Kloe was found dead. Smith has a third child who is in the custody of that child’s biological father.

The department learned that there had been methamphetamine users living in the motel room with Smith, Edlund testified.

“The department is concerned about her activities and the people around her as well,” Edlund said.

Bangor defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein argued that Smith is “local” with numerous family members living in Bucksport.

“Her life is local,” Silverstein said. “Her set of contacts is local.”

Savannah Smith sits in court Monday next to her attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein. Ellsworth American photo by Jennifer Osborn

Neither Smith nor her family have the means to provide her with bail, Silverstein said.

“This is a family of very limited means,” he said. “Most of them do not own property.”

Eighteen months have passed since Kloe’s death. “(Smith) had plenty of opportunity” to leave and hasn’t, Silverstein said.

Robbin countered, “it may have been the defendant was lulled into complacency.” The prosecutor cited the 18-month span between Kloe’s death and Smith’s arrest after grand jury indictment.

During the hearing, Silverstein asked Maine State Police Detective Tom Pickering if he had any knowledge of Smith using hard drugs. The detective testified that he did not.

Murphy has set a status conference in the case for July 26.

Silverstein spoke with media on the courthouse steps after the hearing.

“(Smith is) young and never been in trouble. She’s upset. Plus she gave birth three days before she was arrested,” he said. “I feel for her. Hopefully, we’ll sort this whole thing out.”

 

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