A Stockton Springs woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to police while they were searching for her daughter in the days after her 3-year-old grandson Maddox Williams died.

Maddox Williams Photo from the #justiceformaddox GoFundMe page

Sherry Johnson, 59, and Jessica Trefethen, 36, brought Maddox to the hospital in June 2021, covered in bruises and struggling to breathe. Hospital staff spent an hour trying to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead. A medical examiner later determined Maddox was a victim of battered child syndrome.

Investigators spent three days trying to find Trefethen after she and Johnson left Maddox’s body at the hospital. Johnson admitted Tuesday that she lied about Trefethen’s whereabouts during that time.

She was given the maximum sentence Tuesday of 3½ years, all of which will be suspended unless she violates the terms of a two-year probation period. She is not allowed to have any contact with her daughter or Maddox’s paternal family. Johnson will also have to serve 40 hours of community service, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Trefethen was convicted in October of depraved indifference murder and sentenced to 47 years in prison.

Maddox was the fourth Maine child to die in less than a month because of suspected abuse or by accident. He was one of more than two dozen children whose deaths in 2021 were flagged by the Office of Children and Family Services.


During Trefethen’s trial, prosecutors said she had withdrawn all of the money from her accounts and was hiding from police. When officers stopped by Johnson’s home and asked where they could find Trefethen, Johnson lied and misdirected them to the Searsport public boat launch.

“God, I wish I didn’t,” Johnson said in October during her testimony.

Johnson said that when she arrived at her daughter’s home the day Maddox died, Trefethen told her that Maddox had a stomachache, but she saw things were much more serious.

“He was pale. He didn’t look good,” Johnson said. “He was grayish looking.”

Johnson said she watched doctors try to save Maddox from the back of the hospital room, and noticed bruises all over Maddox’s body.

“What the F was that?” Johnson asked Trefethen later in the car.

Johnson was charged with concealing her daughter from police on June 30, 2021, nearly a week after officers found Trefethen at Johnson’s home.

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