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Murder and Manslaughter


Tim has handled several cases for me over the last 10+ years, and I continue to have him represent me to this day. From misdemeanors, to felony, to federal indictment Tim has been willing to work to whatever extent possible for me. He has, on a few occasions, even had impromptu meetings outside of normal business hours with friends of mine who found themselves in trouble. It is apparent that the well being of his clients is TOP PRIORITY. This, along with an incredibly assuring demeanor, diligent work ethic, and vast knowledge of the law make him my first choice as criminal defense attorney.

--Review by a criminal defense client

Murder and manslaughter cases are among the most complex and highly publicized cases in the world of criminal defense.  It is critical that you choose the best attorney possible when you face a murder or manslaughter charger, or even the threat of such a charge. 


Tim Zerillo has been involved in several murder and manslaughter cases with terrific outcomes.  2 examples are below.

In 2018, Tim Zerillo won a dismissal of a manslaughter case for a boating accident that occurred on Mousam Lake in York County, Maine.  Attorney Zerillo filed, litigated and won a motion to suppress evidence in that case, arguing that the police illegally seized evidence and took statements from his client in violation of his Miranda rights.  Attorney Zerillo won the motion to suppress the evidence and the prosecution later dismissed all charges against his client.

In 2017, Tim Zerillo was asked to join the case of State v. Anthony Sanborn.  This involved a review of a 70 year murder sentence for a death in 1989.  Attorney Zerillo and his co-counsel litigated the case against the Maine Attorney General's Office in a five-week trial.  The State ultimately agreed that Mr. Sanborn's sentence was cruel and unusual, and Mr. Sanborn was released from his sentence.  Mr. Sanborn maintains his innocence relative to this murder to this day.


Many times the words homicide, manslaughter and murder can become confused. It is important to know the difference between these criminal accusations because the charges and penalties are very different.

  • Manslaughter: A killing that is reckless or with criminal negligence, but not intentional
  • Homicide: A death results from reasons that may be completely innocent
  • Murder: Intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another human being or engaging in conduct that manifests a depraved indifference to the value of human life and causing death


Tim Zerillo has represented manslaughter defendants. Tim Zerillo represented a manslaughter defendant in York County for a drunk-driving automobile accident involving a 19-year-old who died in an auto accident and who was the son of a law enforcement officer.

Tim Zerillo's client admitted at the scene of the accident that he had smoked marijuana, and his alcohol content by blood test was .15. Through intensive pre-trial preparation and retention of experts, Attorney Zerillo was able to negotiate a 12-month sentence for his client in what could have been a disastrous case.

Manslaughter may involve a domestic dispute that resulted in a death. Manslaughter may involve a drunk-driving accident that caused the death of another passenger. Whether you are charged with manslaughter or murder depends on the facts of your case and the prosecution's interpretation of those facts. Our Portland manslaughter attorneys have handled cases involving:

  • Vehicular or OUI manslaughter
  • Shaken baby cases
  • Domestic violence death cases
  • Drug overdose cases


We will explore every available avenue of defense. Our attorneys will contact private investigators as soon as possible. We will interview witnesses, review police reports and medical documentation and sometimes use experts to reconstruct the accident scene. Using our records and evidence we will identify other causes of death to prevent charges against our clients.

Our attorneys will also use argument to reduce or minimize charges against you. A plea bargain could reduce a jail sentence or use a probationary sentence so that you can move on with your life after an accident.

For more information about our services, please call 207-228-1139 to speak directly with a Maine criminal defense lawyer, or contact us by using our online form.          


Timothy E. Zerillo Clients’ Choice Award 2017
Timothy E. Zerillo Clients’ Choice Award 2014
10.0 Timothy E. Zerillo
The National Trial Lawyers