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A callous mum could spend the rest of her life in jail after killing her three-year-old son and then trying to pin the horrific crime on his sister and a dog.
Jessica Trefethen, 36, was found guilty of depraved indifference murder – relating to the death of her defenceless toddler Maddox Williams – at Waldo County Superior Court in the US state of Maine.
To be convicted of depraved indifference murder means the defendant was found to demonstrate a "depraved indifference to the value of human life" that proved the reason for the victim's death.
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She will now be handed at least a 25-year sentence and could be given a life term behind bars.
Trefethen concocted her unlikely explanation for Maddox's fatal injuries when she took him to hospital with a fractured spine, bleeding in his brain, a ruptured bowel and extensive bruising on his head, stomach, arms, and legs.
She reportedly told hospital staff that Maddox had been knocked over by a dog and his sister then kicked him in the stomach.
But medical professionals saw straight through the lies.
Maddox subsequently died after he had arrived at the emergency room not breathing and staff spent more than an hour trying to resuscitate him.
The Maine Medical Examiner’s Office later reported that the cause of death was "multiple blunt force trauma" that had been inflicted "non-accidentally".
Doctors also determined that multiple other injuries to Maddox, including a fractured jaw and missing teeth, were a clear indicator of repeated abuse.
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Police were initially unable to locate Trefethen following her son's death in June 2021 but she was eventually arrested three days afterwards.
When questioned by officers, she then claimed Maddox "bruised very easily and her kids play wild and crazy".
But Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea alleged during closing arguments that: "Trefethen stomped on Maddox, or harmed him in some other way using significant force."
He also confirmed that Maddox’s blood was found "throughout the house".
Sherry Johnson – Trefethen’s mother – was also charged with obstruction for allegedly helping her daughter conceal her whereabouts from the police after Maddox’s death.
Trefethen's sentencing hearing will take place in December.
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