Argued: September 14, 2016
Van Horn, Esq., Ellsworth, and Jeffrey C. Toothaker, Esq.,
Ellsworth, for appellant Christopher Saenz
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Lara M. Nomani, Asst. Atty.
Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee
State of Maine
Van Horn, Esq., for appellant Christopher Saenz Lara M.
Nomani, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State of Maine
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and
Hilary Saenz died in her Ellsworth home on Christmas Day,
2013, after several days of beatings and injuries inflicted
on her by her husband while her children were present. The
immediate cause of her death was a subdural hematoma, a brain
bleed that caused her to lose consciousness and die. Her
husband, Christopher Saenz, was charged with her murder, and,
following a jury-waived trial in the Superior Court (Hancock
County, A. Murray, J.), convicted of depraved
indifference murder, 17-A M.R.S. § 201(1)(B) (2015). He
appeals, arguing that there was insufficient evidence for the
court to have found beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) his
actions caused his wifes death, and (2) he acted with a
depraved indifference to the value of human life. See
id.; State v. Erskine, 2006 ME 5, ¶ 9, 889 A.2d
312. We affirm the judgment.
Because Saenz challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we
summarize the trial courts extensive, supported factual
findings in detail.
In November and December 2013, Hilary Saenz and Christopher
Saenz were living together with their twelve-year-old
daughter and eight-year-old son. In November 2013, Saenz
expressed suspicion that his wife was cheating on him after
he borrowed her telephone and did not recognize some of the
telephone numbers in the call history. In the weeks leading
up to Christmas 2013, Saenz argued with his wife about the
numbers on her telephone four or five days per week.
Saenz physically assaulted his wife during many of these
arguments. Over the course of December 22 through December
24, Saenz grabbed Hilarys arms, pushed her away, and smacked
her face, causing a black eye. He also punched her legs,
punched her arm, pushed her, held her down on a chair with
his knee in her stomach, and squeezed her hand so tightly it
bent the ring on her finger. On December 23, Saenz punched
Hilary in the forehead during an argument in front of their
On December 24, the daughter observed bruising near her
mothers eyebrow, cheekbone, and nose. Saenz admitted to his
daughter that he had punched her mother in the face. He
promised her that he would not do it again. That night, the
daughter woke up in the middle ...