Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is part of the team prosecuting Jessica Trefethen, has tested positive for COVID-19.
In this Oct. 5, 2022, file photo, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea listens to opening arguments by the defense at the murder trial of Jessica Trefethen, also known as Jessica Williams, 36, of Stockton Springs last Wednesday at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.shtml.

The murder trial of Maddox Williams’ mother was put on hold for the week after a prosecutor tested positive for COVID-19.

Jessica Trefethen’s jury trial began last Wednesday at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast.

Superior Court Justice Robert Murray sent jurors home for the rest of week with testimony to resume Monday.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea notified the court Tuesday morning that she had the coronavirus, Murray said in announcing the continuance.

The 36-year-old Stockton Springs mother is charged with depraved indifference murder in the slaying of her 3-year-old son in June 2021.

An autopsy showed that Maddox suffered a fracture in his lower spine; bruises on his arms, legs, belly and head; bleeding in his brain; a ruptured bowel; and other injuries, according to a police affidavit. The Maine medical examiner’s office determined the cause of his death on June 20, 2021, to be multiple blunt force trauma that was inflicted non-accidentally.

Maddox was one of four children allegedly killed by a parent last year, prompting a fresh round of scrutiny for the state’s child welfare system and an outside investigation into the deaths.

The killing of Maddox Williams happened in the same town where 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy was beaten to death in 2018 by her stepfather and mother, who also was pregnant at the time of her arrest. That case also sparked intensive scrutiny of Maine’s child welfare system, which received 25 reports concerning Marissa and her family in the 16 months leading up to her death, but didn’t confirm her stepfather and mother were abusing her until she was dead.

Marissa’s mother, Sharon Kennedy, was convicted by a jury of murder and sentenced to 48 years in prison. Trefethen could face a similar sentence if convicted.

Marisa’s stepfather, Julio Carrillo, pleaded guilty to a murder charge and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

If convicted of murder, Trefethen faces 25 years to life in prison. She also could be ordered to pay restitution for her son’s funeral expenses.