A Stockton Springs woman charged with murder in the death of her 3-year-old son pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday at the Waldo County courthouse in Belfast, according to News Center Maine.

Jessica Trefethen, 35, faces charges of depraved indifference murder in the death of Maddox Williams, who died June 20 after his mother brought him to Waldo General Hospital in Belfast, police said. An autopsy revealed the child had multiple bruises and abrasions – some partially healed – as well as missing teeth, internal bleeding and a fractured spine.

Trefethen is being held on $150,000 cash bail. Trefethen, who also goes by the name Jessica Williams, was arrested June 23 and indicted on the murder charge in July.

Although Maine Department of Health and Human Services cannot comment on specific cases while criminal charges are pending, court documents revealed that the department was involved at least twice during Maddox Williams’ short life.

“The state has to prove the charges against her beyond a reasonable doubt,” Lisa Marchese, deputy attorney general and chief of the Criminal Division, told reporters following Monday’s hearing. “The fact that the Department of Health and Human Services is involved just means that we need to consider what they’ve done as well as what the state police have done.”

Earlier this year, DHHS asked an outside agency, Casey Family Programs, to assist with an investigation and evaluation of the recent deaths of four young children in Maine, including Maddox Williams.

Because the state court system is backlogged, it could take another year to 18 months before Trefethen’s case goes to trial, Marchese said.

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