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Stockton Springs woman found guilty in death of 3-year-old son

Jessica Trefethen pled not guilty to depraved indifference murder in connection to the death of her 3-year-old son, Maddox, in June 2021.

STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine — A jury unanimously found Jessica Trefethen guilty of depraved indifference murder Tuesday in connection to the death of her 3-year-old son, Maddox, in June of 2021.

Following closing statements, the jury reached its decision relatively quickly, after about an hour of deliberation. 

The Stockton Springs woman could be seen shaking her head and tearing up as the clerk read the jury's unanimous guilty verdict.

The trial began on Oct. 5 at the Waldo County Judicial Center. The jury consisted of 10 men and six women, four of which were alternates. Trefethen is also known by the last names Williams and Johnson.

Maddox Williams was pronounced dead at Waldo County General Hospital on June 20, 2021. His autopsy showed he died with a fractured spine, multiple bruises, deep tissue bruising, and internal bleeding, among other injuries.

Dr. Liam Funte, the deputy chief medical examiner for the state of Maine, performed the autopsy following the child's death. He stated his cause of death was due to blunt force trauma in his abdomen, and his injuries were consistent with battered-child syndrome. 

Throughout the trial, Trefethen claimed Maddox's injuries were caused by getting caught and dragged by a dog leash into a rock, as well as getting kicked by his older sister. 

The prosecution entered a number of pieces of evidence in the case, such as the clothing the toddler was wearing that day, stained with blood, and pictures of the many injuries on his body. 

Witnesses called to the stand during the trial included Trefethen's mother, Sherry Johnson; Trefethen's oldest daughter; Maine State Police forensics analysts; and Dr. Funte, who said some of Maddox's injuries were not as recent as others, like his two missing front teeth.

John Risler, assistant attorney general, was one of the prosecutors in this case. 

"I think probably some of the most important evidence was the evidence offered by Dr. Funte, the deputy chief medical examiner, indicating the severe injuries for Maddox," Risler said. 

Victoria Vose, Maddox's paternal grandmother, also testified. She shared how she hopes her grandson will be remembered.

"As a normal 3-year-old that was happy and playful and loved at one time. And still is," Vose said. 

"I think that what the investigation showed and what the evidence showed was that these injuries could not have been caused in that accidental manner, and that is what the jury's verdict here shows," Risler said. 

Trefethen's lawyers declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Trefethen is being held without bail until her sentencing, which will likely be scheduled in mid-December at the Waldo Judicial Center.

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