A Maine woman was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the beating death of her infant son. Miranda Hopkins, 32, went on trial for the murder of her seven-week-old baby Jaxson, and was found guilty of manslaughter, reports WFVX.
Although Superior Court Justice Robert Murray sentenced her to 18 years, but she’ll only serve 13 of those years. Upon release, she will spend another 4 years on probation.
“A sentence of 18 years to the Department of Corrections, with all but 13 years suspended, really reflects how these injuries to Jaxson were inflicted and the catastrophic nature of how these injuries were sustained,” said Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea.
Hopkins’ defense attorney, Chris MacLean, stated that he was “unhappy to see her get such a heavy sentence but we understand the process, and we think the judge really did a good job conducting the trial.”
He added: “We have actually filed a notice for appeal, whether we’ll actually follow through and brief the case is something we haven’t decided yet,” MacLean said.
The judge placed Hopkins on house arrest until after the end of December. “She was appreciative that the judge let her stay out for a couple more weeks so that she may spend Christmas with her family,” noted MacLean.
Zainea, however, opposed that decision. “Obviously the defendant had a month to prepare for this date, and that was the position the state took in opposing the stay of execution,” she said.
Hopkins must turn herself in to the corrections facility on December 26 at 9 a.m.
“Blacked out on booze and marijuana”
During her trial, Hopkins said she didn’t know how Jaxson died, because she was “blacked out on booze and marijuana,” and when she awoke, she found Jaxson “beat to hell.”
His fatal injuries included skull fractures, 15 broken ribs, a broken right arm, and multiple cuts and bruises over his entire body.
Hopkins initially told police that one of her two autistic children might have killed him. She surmised that the autistic child might have climbed into bed with Jaxson and accidentally crushed him, or he might have intentionally beat Jaxson to death. However, during testimony, she told jurors that she just made all that up because she was “scared of what might happen.”
Attorney MacLean pursued that theory anyway, arguing that one of the autistic boys had a history of aggression, and would have been capable of beating Jaxson to death. Prosecutors, however, were able to exploit Hopkins’ changing alibis to their advantage.