A Clinton man has been indicted on manslaughter and driving to endanger charges stemming from a crash last year in Benton that killed his passenger.

Stephen B. Richardson III, 19, was behind the wheel when he lost control of the car on Neck Road in Benton and hit a utility pole on the vehicle’s passenger side, according to the Maine State Police.

Julie Clark, 19, of Troy died after suffering injuries in the single-car crash Oct. 31, 2021.

Police said Richardson was driving a 1998 Toyota Corolla and drifted into the oncoming lane, overcorrected and lost control of the car before hitting the utility pole.

A Kennebec County grand jury recently indicted Richardson on a Class A charge of manslaughter, alleging he “did recklessly, or with criminal negligence, cause the death of another human being, Julie C. Clark.”

Class A manslaughter is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.


Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said there was evidence of both alcohol and THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in Richardson’s system after the crash.

Speeding was also a factor, both in the accident and in Richardson’s being charged with manslaughter, Maloney said.

Maloney said a charge of manslaughter is made when there is a “gross deviation” from the standard of conduct in which a reasonable, prudent person would engage.

“In this case, there are several factors that combine to rise to that gross deviation,” she said, explaining why Richardson received the charge.

Richardson was not charged or indicted with operating under the influence, but was indicted on a charge of driving to endanger, a Class C offense.

Clark and Richardson were taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Center for Health in Waterville. Clark was flown by a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter from MaineGeneral to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she died.

Richardson suffered minor injuries, according to Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt but indicates enough evidence exists to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.