exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Sarah Allen Jury chosen for baby death trial

By Lisa Chmelecki,Staff Writer

AUBURN - The job of deciding whether a Lisbon mother is guilty of shaking her adopted son to death will be up to eight women and six men.

The panel of jurors was chosen at 4 p.m. Monday, the first day in the second trial for 31-year-old Sarah Allen.

Allen faces a charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of her 21-month-old son, Nathaniel.

Her first trial last June ended without a verdict because the jury - a panel of seven men and seven woman - was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Jurors later reported that the final vote had been 11-1 to find Allen guilty of manslaughter, with one woman juror holding firm to her belief that Allen was innocent.

Opening statements in the second trial are scheduled to begin 9 a.m. today. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

The state alleges that Sarah Allen shook her son with so much force on Feb. 14, 2003, that she caused him to suffer a severe brain injury. All of the doctors who treated the boy testified at the first trial that the most likely cause of death was a violent shaking or jerking motion.

Allen's defense team, Auburn attorney Verne Paradie and Lewiston attorney Heather Seasonwein, hope to prove that the boy died as a result of a pre-existing, undetected brain disorder.

Allen's husband, Jeremy Allen, was convicted of assault in September for hitting the toddler with a wooden spoon on the day before his death. Facing up to five years in prison, he is currently out on bail and will be sentenced after his wife's trial.

2005 Feb 15