A Stockton Springs woman, who was sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison for beating her 3-year-old son to death, is appealing her murder conviction and sentence on Wednesday.
In December 2022, a judge sentenced Jessica Williams, also known as Jessica Trefethen, to 47 years in prison for the death of Maddox Williams.
She was convicted of depraved indifference murder in October 2022.
Maddox died on June 20, 2021, at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. He was taken there by his mother and grandmother after complaining of stomach pain, according to court testimony. He lost consciousness in the hospital parking lot and never regained it despite efforts to revive him.
Williams was arrested three days after she brought Maddox to the hospital.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Maddox’s older half-sister testified that her mother slapped Maddox in the face and “threw him” from a New Hampshire motel bathroom onto a hard floor. She also testified that she had seen her mother slap Maddox in the face more than once.
Sherry Johnson, Maddox’s grandmother and Williams’ mother, testified she found her grandson covered in bruises from head to toe after she removed a sheet to say goodbye to him the day he died, according to the BDN.
Johnson testified that in the weeks leading up to Maddox’s death, she noticed that he had lost two of his baby teeth and often had bruises on his forehead, arms and legs, according to the BDN.
She also told jurors that she had seen her daughter backhand the boy in the mouth but did not see her slap her other children the same way.
“She told him that she didn’t want to look at his ugly face and that he was exactly like his father,” Johnson testified.
Williams called Johnson on the morning that Maddox died and asked her to come to her house to see if she thought he needed to go to the emergency room, according to the BDN.
When Johnson arrived at her daughter’s home, Maddox was on the couch with his mother.
“He was pale, grayish looking,” Johnson said.
The women decided to take Maddox to the hospital.
According to court records, Williams told hospital staff Maddox had been knocked down by a dog leash and kicked by his 8-year-old sister, but the medical examiner’s office found his injuries were not consistent with that and ruled the death a homicide.
The medical examiner said Maddox suffered multiple blunt force traumas, including bruises all over his body, a fractured spine, bleeding in his brain and abdomen, and three teeth that had been knocked out.
The medical examiner ruled that Maddox died from “battered child syndrome.”
Maddox had been in his paternal grandmother’s care, but the Maine Department of Health and Human Services returned the child to Williams before he was killed.
Williams will be at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for her appeal.