Maine’s top court has rejected the appeal of a Troy woman convicted of killing her 7-week-old son.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court released its ruling Tuesday on the appeal brought by Miranda Hopkins, 32, who is serving a 13-year sentence for manslaughter.
Hopkins’ attorney, Laura Shaw, argued in her appeal that her manslaughter conviction should be overturned because a Superior Court judge erred in rejecting a motion to suppress statements made by Hopkins during police interviews.
Shaw also argued that there was insufficient evidence for a jury to find Hopkins responsible for her son’s death.
On Jan. 12, 2017, Hopkins told police she rolled over in bed to find her infant son, Jaxson, unresponsive. She claimed to have no knowledge of what happened to the baby and told investigators that she believed one of her two other sons, who are described as autistic and nonverbal, was responsible.
In December, a Waldo County jury found Hopkins guilty of manslaughter.
The Supreme Judicial Court rejected the appeal in its entirety. The court found that the lower court did not err in denying the motion to suppress statements Hopkins made during five police interviews.
The court found that during Hopkins’ first interview, she was not in custody and therefore did not need to be read her Miranda Rights. The court also ruled that Hopkins’ waiver of her Miranda Rights during the second interview was “knowing, voluntary, and intentional.”
Since the next three interviews happened shortly after Hopkins received her Miranda warnings in the second interview, the court found that her Miranda Rights did not have to be reread.
The court also found that sufficient evidence was presented to the jury to convict Hopkins of killing her son, and that the evidence was not consistent with the alternative cause of death asserted by Hopkins that one of her two other sons was responsible for the death.
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