A mother from Troy, Maine was convicted of manslaughter on Tuesday for the death of her 7-week-old baby, which she allegedly tried to pin on one of her two autistic sons. During her trial, 32-year-old Miranda Hopkins told the jury she drank shots of liquor and smoked marijuana the night the infant Jaxson died, according to Associated Press.
Local reports claim Hopkins gave testimony on Monday, recalling how she found the infant him cold, stiff and unresponsive back in January. She claimed she blacked out and then found Jaxson “beat to hell." However, she previously told police that one of her two autistic sons was possibly responsible for the infant's death. She told the jury that she lied because she was afraid her other two sons, ages 6 and 8, would be taken away from her. Those two boys have been described as “profoundly autistic” and nonverbal.
“I’d been drinking, I’d passed out, and my baby was killed,” she told jurors. “I was scared of what might happen.”
Jaxson’s official cause of death was listed as blunt force head injuries, according to Associated Press.
“She said she was afraid her family would be separated, but she had no problem pointing the finger at two nonverbal, severely autistic boys,” Assistant District Attorney Leanne Zainea said in court, according to local reports. Zainea then addressed the jurors. “Your common sense and reason tells you she misled the officers for a very different reason because she was afraid for herself.”
Her defense attorney, Chris MacLean, told local media he and the defense team were "disappointed" with the ruling, and he maintains that his client is innocent.
“She didn’t kill her baby,” MacLean said.
Hopkins will be sentenced in December and faces up to 30 years in prison.
[Photo: Waldo County Jail]