An Easton mother will serve less than four years in state prison and six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the overdose death of her 1-year-old son in March 2022.

Mariah Dobbins, 29, pleaded guilty July 20 under an agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, with eight years suspended and credit for the time she has served in jail since her arrest. She will have to serve the full 12 years if she violates any terms of her release during probation.

Dobbins was indicted on July 14, 2022, in connection with the death of her son, Jaden Raymond, and pleaded not guilty days later. Maine State Police released few details at the time, but a search warrant affidavit filed by Maine State Police Detective Christopher Foxworthy in February seeking access to Dobbins’ phone records confirmed Dobbins was Jaden’s mother and that he died because of a fentanyl overdose.

Dobbins’ attorney, Steve Smith, did not respond to multiple calls and emails asking about the plea change. Family and friends say Dobbins struggled with methamphetamine use but did not use fentanyl. They believe Jaden overdosed on drugs that someone else left in Dobbins’ home.

State troopers who searched Dobbins’ trailer in March 2022 found a large number of meth pipes, a scale and traces of meth in wax paper bags – but no fentanyl, court records state. Prosecutors say police didn’t know at the time that fentanyl was involved.



Jaden’s death followed one of the deadliest years for children dealing with abuse or neglect, or living in households with prior involvement with the state’s child protective system.

A Maine Department of Health and Human Services caseworker began investigating Dobbins in October 2021, five months before Jaden died, after receiving several reports that the mother of two young boys was using drugs.

“The department opened an investigation and completed an initial meeting with Ms. Dobbins, who did not appear under the influence, nor did she show any physical signs of substance use,” states a memo from the agency detailing its involvement with Dobbins.

Dobbins declined to take a drug test and would not let the caseworker into her home. She said her ex-boyfriend’s family was filing false reports to harass her. The caseworker noted no concern for the children during this interaction, the memo states, nor did the caseworker find a reason for concern after speaking with law enforcement agencies and reviewing the children’s medical records. Dobbins also later allowed the caseworker to observe the children and her home.

Foxworthy’s affidavit says a caseworker at the hospital told him the agency attempted to contact Dobbins three months before Jaden’s death because they suspected she was using meth. The caseworker said Dobbins denied DHHS access to her home at that time, an interaction that is not reflected in the memo.

The memo lists Jason Richardson as Jaden’s father and caregiver but does not provide further details about his involvement in the child’s life.



Jaden was pronounced dead at the Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle on March 19, 2022.

Dobbins said she and her two sons had fallen asleep that morning watching TV, Foxworthy’s affidavit states. When she woke up, Dobbins said she saw Jaden lying face down on the floor in the hall.

His lips were blue and he was holding a small toy wrench. She told police there was a spray bottle of Lysol nearby, the affidavit states.

The detective said Dobbins told investigators that her phone was dead and she had a neighbor call 911 while she tried doing chest compressions on Jaden. Paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to indicate how Jaden died, Foxworthy wrote. Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Liam Funte determined on May 23 that Jaden had died of a fentanyl overdose.


“The level of fentanyl found in Jaden’s blood and gastric contents was higher than that found in adult overdose deaths,” Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin wrote in court records that were read during Dobbins’ sentencing. “We can only conclude that he was ingesting fentanyl powder by the handful. That must have been evident to Dobbins when she discovered him unresponsive when she woke up.”

Court records indicate Dobbins admitted to possessing and using meth when police showed her the two bags of a “white, crystal-like substance” they found at her trailer the day after Jaden died.

“She claimed that she was not a heavy user and did not sell drugs, but that she had started using meth again after the breakup of a relationship,” Foxworthy wrote.

In police interviews after her arrest, Dobbins stated that she didn’t know where the fentanyl came from. While speaking with police in August, she suggested Timothy Philbrick, who had been in her trailer within two days of Jaden’s death, was responsible. Foxworthy identified Philbrick as Dobbins’ boyfriend. Her father disputed this.

Philbrick could not be reached Monday and did not respond to Facebook messages to talk about the case or the accusations Dobbins has made against him.

Foxworthy’s affidavit requested access to Dobbins’ phone records to learn more about her relationship with Philbrick, to verify her version of events and to see if any text messages could reveal where the fentanyl came from. It’s not clear if that search warrant was ever fulfilled.


Danna Hayes, a spokesperson for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, declined to share Foxworthy’s findings and said prosecutors don’t expect to file more charges in the case.

Dobbins’ father, Raymond Dobbins Sr., believes his daughter received a light sentence because prosecutors didn’t have the evidence to prove she was using fentanyl.

“I know my daughter really well. She never messed with that stuff,” he said. “The drug that was involved, I know for a fact she never bought into any of that stuff.”

He said his daughter was devastated by Jaden’s death.

“She was in shock,” he said. “She couldn’t even (talk) without stuttering. This really, really hit her hard.”



Dobbins was held on a $10,000 cash bail bond until March 2023, when her cellmate’s family member, Roger Roy, paid for her to be released.

Roy said Monday that he met Dobbins after she was arrested. He said she needed support and connected her with a place to stay when she was out of jail.

“She’s a smart kid,” Roy said. “She’s a hard worker. A good kid.”

But he said Dobbins struggled with substance use disorder and it was hard for her to avoid friends and family who were actively using while she was out. Her bail was revoked in May when she failed a drug test for meth use, according to a complaint prosecutors filed in May.

Roy said Dobbins rejected earlier plea offers because she was hanging onto hope that she could get back custody of her oldest son, Jaxon. He said she’s still hoping to see him face-to-face one more time.

“That’s basically all she’s looking forward to,” Roy said.

Jaxon has been living with his paternal grandparents for the last year, Dobbins’ father said. His paternal grandmother did not respond to a Facebook message Monday, but said in a message in late May that she’s gotten to know Jaxon as a “smart, happy, loving child.”

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