AUBURN — A judge ordered a local man back to prison for more than four years Monday for violating probation conditions from a 2001 manslaughter sentence.

Everett Ashby

Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford concluded last month Everett Ashby, 46, had violated terms of his probation, stemming from a 1998 case in which he pushed a 24-year-old Westbrook woman off the Cousins Island Bridge in Yarmouth, causing her to fall to her death.

Responders found her body floating near the bridge a day later.

Ashby, formerly of Portland, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and been sentenced to 35 years in prison, but a judge suspended 15 years of that time.

Clifford sentenced Ashby on Monday to serve 4½ years of the suspended part of his manslaughter sentence.

Ashby was released from prison in 2016 and began serving six years of probation. He was cited later that year for theft and for having alcohol in his car. The next year, he was arrested for being in a place that serves alcohol, for which he was sentenced to four days in jail.

After his release, he moved to Lewiston and, later, Auburn.

In October 2018, Ashby was arrested on a charge of having contact with children younger than 18, according to court papers. He was released on bail in November after a court appearance.

A clinical social worker specializing in sex offender treatment who evaluated Ashby determined later in November he was “very appropriate” for treatment, and signed a contract with him to start counseling.

In January, a Lewiston police detective said his department had received a complaint in November that Ashby had been a suspect in the sexual assault of a 19-year-old boy with mental disabilities. Local police served Ashby with a protection from abuse order involving the teen.

He was taken to jail later in January for violating bail conditions.

After hearing arguments earlier this spring that Ashby had violated terms of his probation, Justice Clifford ruled that he was convinced that Ashby had contact with a child under 18 at a church in August last year and that he had sexually touched a teen with autism and mental disabilities in November.

Clifford wrote he was “unpersuaded” some of the other alleged violations had occurred and others still were dismissed by prosecutors.

Ashby had been charged with murder in the 1998 case, but that charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he could be sentenced to spend no fewer than 15 years and no more than 20 years in prison.

According to published reports, Ashby told police five days after the incident he had driven Amy Gaines to Cousins Island, believing she wanted money for sex. After fighting with her on the bridge, he pushed her and she fell backwards over the railing, police said.

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