A Superior Court justice has found a Millinocket man described as a “doting father” guilty of manslaughter in the death of a 6-month-old boy more than four years ago.
Jessee Mackin, 36, remains free on $25,000 cash bail awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
A sentencing date has not been set.
Mackin denied hurting his girlfriend’s child when he took the stand in his own defense in April during his jury-waived trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Larry Earl Lord was born Oct. 24, 2014, in Houlton to Anthony Lord, 39, and Jamie Clark, now 29. The boy died on May 7, 2015, of a skull fracture, the medical examiner’s office determined.
Lord, who is serving life sentences at the Maine State Prison in Warren, cited the boy’s death and his frustration over how long the investigation was taking as a reason for his rampage in July 2015 that left two people dead and wounded three others.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson announced his verdict on May 15 on short notice, according to the Maine attorney general’s office, which is responsible for prosecuting all homicide cases in Maine.
The judge found that although there was no testimony about how the baby’s skull was fractured, Mackin was responsible for his death because the defendant was the only person with him when the infant was stricken, according to a transcript of the proceeding.
“… Based on the testimony that was admitted to at the trial, it was inescapable that the person who was with this child shortly before the child went limp is responsible for the death of the child,” Anderson said. “It’s just — and I acknowledge that one would expect to hear something happening in the adjoining room, which we didn’t really have.”
Clark testified that Mackin was alone in a bedroom with the baby watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” while she sorted clothes in another room. She denied hearing anything that might have been the child’s head hitting something hard enough to fracture his skull.
She described Mackin as a “doting father” at his trial.
“And I don’t have an explanation for everything in the case, but I don’t have a reasonable doubt about the fact that Mr. Mackin caused the death of the child,” the judge concluded. “So I’m finding the defendant guilty of the charge of manslaughter.”
Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who prosecuted the case, on Thursday praised Anderson’s reliance on the testimony of head injury experts at the trial.
“The court’s verdict brings us one step closer to getting justice for Baby Larry Lord,” she said. “We are pleased with the court’s conclusion that ‘if you accept the science, it’s inescapable that [Jessee Mackin] caused the death of [Baby Larry].’”
Defense attorney Stephen Smith of Augusta said his client would appeal the verdict to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
“Jessee’s family stands squarely behind him,” Smith said Thursday.