Maine Mom Accused in 3-Year-Old Son's Abuse Death Allegedly Covered Wounds with Temporary Tattoos

After a medical examiner ruled Maddox Williams died from blunt force trauma, Jessica Williams allegedly told police her son "bruised very easily and her kids play wild and crazy"

Jessica Trefethen
Jessica Williams. Photo: The Bangor Daily News via AP

Maddox Williams had stopped breathing by the time his mother brought him to the hospital.

Jessica Williams, 35, allegedly told emergency room staff on June 20 that her 3-year-old had been knocked to the ground by a dog leash and kicked by his 8-year-old sister. A later autopsy found signs that suggested something much worse, according to a Maine State Police affidavit: internal bleeding from a ruptured bowel, a fractured spine, bleeding on the child's brain, and bruises on his arms, legs and head.

Temporary stick-on tattoos covered three partially healed abrasions on the boy's face and forehead, medical examiner Dr. Lisa Funte told police, according to the affidavit obtained by TV station WCSH in Portland.

Maddox died that same day. On June 23, officers arrested Williams and charged her with her son's murder, Maine State Police said in a news release.

Funte ruled the boy's death was caused by multiple blunt force trauma inflicted "non-accidentally," according to the Bangor Daily News.

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Williams, of Stockton Springs, is being held in the Waldo County jail with bond set at $150,000, PEOPLE confirms. It was not clear whether she had entered a plea, and an attorney for her, Jeff Toothaker, could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a text to a friend after her son died, she wrote, "No I didn't kill my son," according to the affidavit.

Speaking to police on the day of her arrest, Williams told them "she had no idea" how her son would have acquired such injuries, except that "he bruised very easily and her kids play wild and crazy," according to the affidavit.

Police say she told them her daughter had said Maddox was knocked down by a leash on a puppy. She also allegedly said her son had fallen days earlier from a trampoline, but had seemed fine and was not bleeding.

Funte afterward told police the dead boy's injuries were "too severe to be caused by kids playing, falling from a trampoline, or being knocked down by a puppy."

Williams and the boy's father, Andrew Williams, split up when Jessica Williams was pregnant with Maddox, and the father hadn't seen him since April 10, he told police. At the time, he said he spotted bruising on Maddox's back and a cut over an eye, leading him to take photographs of the injuries "so he wouldn't get blamed," wrote detective Hugh Landry in the criminal complaint, reports the Bangor Daily News.

Police also spoke to Jason Trefethen, who was identified in the police affidavit as the father of three of Jessica's five children.

Detective Landry wrote: "I asked Jason if Jessica was abusive towards Maddox and he replied, 'You'll have to ask her.'"

Her attorney told the Bangor Daily News: "We will be hiring several individuals who are experts in the medical field," he said. "It's going to be a fair fight."

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