A Raymond teenager pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including manslaughter stemming from a car crash in Windham that killed a 15-year-old girl.

Police said Melinda Easter, 18, lost control of her Pontiac Grand Am on Dec. 5 on River Road, killing Tyonna Adams of Westbrook.

Easter was indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury Friday on six counts: manslaughter, three counts of driving to endanger, aggravated OUI and operating a motor vehicle beyond her class restriction.

Easter was ordered held at the Cumberland County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail.

She appeared in a red jail uniform during her arraignment in a Portland courtroom and spoke only to acknowledge that she understood the charges and to enter her not guilty pleas.

If she is released on bail, Easter was ordered by District Court Judge Deborah Cashman not to possess or consume drugs or alcohol and submit to random searches and testing for the substances, including marijuana, not operate any motor vehicles and to obey a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Her next court date is July 5. Cashman also appointed Portland attorney Neale A. Duffett to represent her.

Friends and relatives of Adams who were in the courtroom, including Adams’ mother, declined to comment for this story.

Easter is a student at Windham High School, according to the public information posted on her Facebook page.

Following her indictment, friends posted messages of support on Easter’s page. She thanked them, and in one response, acknowledged the charges.

“I’m going to jail soon,” she wrote back.

The maximum penalty for manslaughter, a Class A crime, is 30 years in prison.

Adams was a passenger in Easter’s car when it left the road and struck a tree about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 near the intersection of River Road and Laskey Road, police said after the crash.

Speed is believed to have been a factor in the crash, police said previously. The limit on that stretch of road is 40 mph. Police ordered a reconstruction of the crash, but have not released information about how fast Easter is believed to have been going before the crash.

Everyone in the vehicle who survived the crash suffered injuries, including Easter, who was treated and released within about a day of the wreck.

The other passengers were Sasha Williams, 22, of Westbrook; Kerrianna Girardin, 18, of Windham; and Brittany Freeman, 20, of Westbrook. Easter is charged with one count of felony driving to endanger for each of the surviving passengers.

Standard procedure in Maine requires that toxicology be performed on the driver in any crash that results in a fatality, but the results of Easter’s chemical tests were not discussed in court. The legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers 21 and over is 0.08 percent, but drivers who are 21 or younger are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

filed under: