Jury Finds Hilery and Andrew Maison Guilty on All Counts
It only took four hours for the jury to deliberate, before finding both Hilery and Andrew Maison guilty on all counts. The couple, accused of starving and abusing Andrew’s two daughters to the point that it caused one’s death and severe malnutrition in the other, are looking at the very real possibility of life in prison.
The Maisons were accused of starving their two daughters, 5-year-old Mackenzie and 3-year-old Makayla, and not providing them with necessary medical care. Neither child had gone to a doctor’s appointment in over a year, despite the fact that follow-up appointments had been recommended, as both girls were losing weight.
Emergency responders arrived to find Mackenzie unresponsive on the floor, and Makayla in a severely weakened state. Both children were determined to be dehydrated, malnourished and unwell. Mackenzie’s autopsy showed that she was suffering from pneumonia, which ended up being considered a contributing factor in her death. She also had a significant number of bruises on her body.
An expert witness for the defense explained the pneumonia as being the result of a cold that got out of hand. He also told the court that the girl’s small stature could have been a psychosocial response to their home environment. But with Mackenzie only weighing 25 pounds at the time of her death, which is at the low end of the spectrum for a healthy 3 -year-old, and Makayla only weighing 17 pounds, which is standard for an 18-month-old, the jury wasn’t buying it.
Makayla was hospitalized for malnutrition and dehydration following her removal from the Maison’s home by CPS. She has since doubled her weight in the six months she has been in foster care, which the prosecution claimed was an example of the fact that the Maison’s excuse that the girls were provided ample food but were picky eaters wasn’t viable.
The Maisons were found guilty of murder in the death of Mackenzie, and single counts of torture and first degree child abuse in the case of Makayla. Under Michigan law, both first degree child abuse and torture are punishable by up to life in prison. They are now facing the possibility of imprisonment without parole, although it remains to be seen what the Judge will decide.
Hilery and Andrew Maison are currently being held in the St. Clair County Jail, where they will remain until their sentencing on March 10th, as they were not granted bail.