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Opening statements start in trial of Stockton Springs mom charged in son's death

Jessica Trefethen is pleading not guilty to depraved indifference murder in connection to the death of her three-year-old son, Maddox, in June 2021.

BELFAST, Maine — A jury of 10 men and six women heard opening statements on Wednesday at the Waldo County Judicial Center for the trial of a mother charged in the death of her three-year-old son. 

Jessica Trefethen, of Stockton Springs, is also known by the last names Williams and Johnson.

Trefethen is being charged with depraved indifference murder in connection to the death of her three-year-old son, Maddox Williams, in June 2021.

Maddox Williams was pronounced dead at Waldo County General Hospital on June 20. He was the son of Trefethen and Andrew Williams. He was also Trefethen's only child with Williams.

Leane Zainea, assistant attorney general, and John Risler, asst. attorney general, are prosecuting this case.

"Dr. Funte will tell you that the injuries he observed, particularly the transection of the pancreas, lacerations to the mesentery, and the fractures to the lower spine, would require a significant amount of force, the force that one might see in a punch or more likely a stomp," Risler said.

Jeffrey Toothaker and Caitlyn Smith are Trefethen's defense attorneys in this case.

"You're going to hear testimony from individuals that perhaps don't paint Jessica in the best light. In fact, some of the statements made may make her seem downright mean. But none of these facts prove that she murdered Maddox. None of the facts prove that she did what the state is alleging," Smith said.

Following opening statements, the prosecution called several witnesses to the stand on Wednesday. Some of those witnesses included Maddox's paternal grandmother and aunt, a nurse who was working in the Waldo County General Hospital emergency room trauma unit the day Maddox was brought in, two of the Maine State Police officers in charge of the case, and Trefethen's 14-year-old daughter.

"I think today went well for us. Obviously, it's the state's case, so we haven't had an opportunity to put our case on. We were able to explain to the jury in our opening statement how we feel this case will go and what the truth is. So, I'm confident in our opening statement, and I'm confident the jury will hear the truth throughout this trial," Smith said. 

The trial will resume on Thursday and is expected to wrap up sometime next week.

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