Thorr Ellis arrested in connection with fatal Readfield crash last fall

AUGUSTA — A Gardiner man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a crash last fall on Plains Road in Readfield that resulted in the death of a passenger in his car.

Thorr Dennis Ellis, 21, was arrested early Tuesday morning on a number of charges, the most significant of which is manslaughter, said Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Ellis was being held Tuesday at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $200,000 cash bail. He was expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Police say Ellis was the driver in a crash that occurred Nov. 5, 2014, on Plains Road in Readfield. It left two men injured, including Ellis, and one dead, Alex Cruz, 26, of Connecticut.

Reardon, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to release details Tuesday that led to the manslaughter charge, but a state crash report filed by Kennebec County Sheriff Deputy Aaron Moody indicates Ellis was driving too fast for conditions and was under the influence of an intoxicant. Moody wrote that Ellis drove in a manner that was “erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive.”


Ellis was arrested early Tuesday morning after Staff Sgt. Frank Hatch, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, spotted him outside his Harrison Avenue home. Ellis ran into a home, followed by Hatch, and then ran back out again before taking off on foot, police said.

He was found a short time later with the assistance of a dog team from the Maine State Police.

“It was less than a half-mile,” Reardon said of the foot chase.

The state crash report says Ellis’s 1999 Audi crossed the centerline, went off the road and overturned.

The report indicates Ellis and Cruz were ejected from the vehicle and that Bradley S. Plevyak, now 20, of Gardiner, who was in the front passenger seat, was the only one remaining inside the vehicle. He had been wearing a shoulder and lap belt, according to the report.

Moody’s report also says there was no insurance coverage.

In May 2015, Ellis was sentenced to 21 days in jail, fined $200 and ordered to pay $72 for theft of services Jan. 12 and false public report Aug. 27, 2014, in Gardiner, and theft by unauthorized taking and transfer Nov. 14, 2014, in Augusta.

In August 2014, Ellis was convicted of a charge of receiving stolen property that occurred Jan. 3, 2014, in Gardiner. He was ordered to serve 10 days in the alternative sentencing program, with the remainder of the 364-day jail sentence suspended, followed by one year on administrative release. He also was ordered to pay $350 restitution.

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