A Scarborough man has been indicted on double manslaughter charges in connection with a car crash on U.S. Route 202 in Winthrop last November that killed a local husband and wife.

Jeffrey E. Ray, 44, was served a summons on the charges Wednesday, alleging that he acted “recklessly or with criminal negligence,” according to records unsealed in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.

Ray, who is free without restrictions, is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 9 in Superior Court where he will enter a plea. Both of the charges against Ray are class A crimes that carry a potential 30-year prison sentence.

Ray’s driving record includes a number of suspensions and convictions, including operating under the influence and operating after suspension, according to records at the secretary of state’s office.

Napoleon Richard St. Laurent, 80, was killed instantly in the car crash on Nov. 21. His wife, 74-year-old Patricia St. Laurent, was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where she died four days later. The Winthrop couple would have celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary the next day.

The couple had five children and were foster parents to several children, according to the couple’s obituary. The family on Thursday declined to comment on Ray’s indictment.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney would not specify what Ray was allegedly doing at the time of the crash that constituted criminal negligence, or why he had been charged with manslaughter. Ray was not intoxicated, Maloney said.

Maloney said the investigation, conducted by the state police and Winthrop police, may have taken a long time to develop but ultimately led to enough evidence to convince a grand jury that the manslaughter charges were warranted.

“They painstakingly went through every piece of evidence and were able to reconstruct the entire accident,” Maloney said. “We were able to make the case that Jeffrey Ray was behaving recklessly at the time of the crash.”

That reckless behavior could include more than driving while distracted, Maloney said. Reckless behavior could include criminal speed or some other criminal act that led to the crash. The speed limit where the crash occurred is 45 mph.

“If you’re operating your vehicle at a place where a law’s being broken, that’s acting with criminal negligence and recklessness,” Maloney said.

Ray’s attorney, Walter McKee, said he and his client were surprised to hear about the indictment.

“We are very interested in seeing the reports in this case as this out of the blue indictment was the first we’ve heard for nine months that this was anything other than a terribly unfortunate accident,” McKee said Friday.

The crash occurred shortly before 9 a.m. as the St. Laurents’ 1996 Ford E-150 van was stopped in the eastbound lane waiting to make a left turn onto Royal Street in Winthrop.

Ray, driving a 2007 Mitsubishi box truck east on Route 202, hit the van from behind, police said. The impact pushed both vehicles into the right-side guard rail and down the road before stopping against the guardrail.

The van, owned by JA & Sons, an automotive repair business in Winthrop that St. Laurent owned with his son, and the box truck, owned by Lewiston-based Pure-Stat, were both destroyed.

Ray was also was flown to CMMC after the crash and later released.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Thursday that Ray’s driver’s license was active at the time of the Winthrop crash. His license is still active, though he is required to use an ignition locking device that prevents him from starting his vehicle without first verifying his blood alcohol level.

Ray, who was charged with operating under the influence in February, was also convicted of OUI in 2002, according to Dunlap’s records. Ray’s driver’s license has also been suspended 12 times and he has 23 convictions that include operating after suspension, speeding, failure to provide proof of insurance, operating an unregistered vehicle and operating a vehicle without an inspection sticker.

“He’s had a bunch of speeding tickets going back to 1985,” Dunlap said.

Ray has been involved in two other crashes besides the one in November. Those crashes, one in 1990 and the other in 1996, caused no injury, Dunlap said.

Ray has not yet listed a defense attorney with the court, and attempts to reach him for comment Thursday were unsuccessful. A man who answered the phone Thursday at Pure-Stat confirmed that Ray still worked for the company but said that Ray was off until next week.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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