A Madison man who was indicted on a manslaughter charge in December in connection with a fatal crash in Starks a year earlier and his mother are free this week after their arrests last week in a dispute with police over a protection order.

Police said Jonathan Cayford, 24, along with his mother Jill Cayford, 42, of Anson, were arrested Jan. 3 on Wedge Street in Madison after a county deputy attempted to serve a protection order against Jonathan Cayford. Jill Cayford allegedly pushed a sheriff’s deputy during the incident.

Jill Cayford was released on $500 cash bail. She is charged with obstructing government administration, assault and refusing to submit to arrest. She is due in court Feb. 8.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Monday that Jonathan Cayford was arrested on a charge of violating a protection order, but once her office investigated the incident, they declined to charge him because he had not violated the order, Maloney said.

“We did bring charges against his mother because she assaulted a police officer,” Maloney said. “You really can’t put hands on a police officer.”

Chief Deputy James Ross of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Chelsea Merry went to the Wedge Street home to serve the protection order on Jonathan Cayford.


The protection order stipulated that an infant child at the residence with Jonathan be turned over to the custody of the mother, he said.

Jill Cayford’s arrest resulted in her alleged refusal to hand the baby over to the deputy, Ross said, along with her allegedly physically shoving the deputy and then her refusal to submit to arrest.

Jonathan Cayford was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury Dec. 9 on a manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal crash more than a year before, in which police said he was passing cars at 80 mph on a back road in Starks.

The charge stems from his alleged role as the driver of a car in which another Madison man was killed and two others were injured in the crash on Anson Road in Starks on Nov. 13, 2015.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt but rather indicates that a grand jury has found there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

The charge is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted. He is charged with being reckless or criminally negligent in causing the death of Clint J. Briggs. Briggs, 21, a passenger in the car driven by Cayford, was found dead at the scene, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.


Cayford, driving westbound, was passing a line of other westbound vehicles at a high speed when he went off the road, according to the sheriff’s department. Briggs was not wearing a seatbelt, the sheriff’s department said, and evidence gathered at the scene indicated speed and alcohol may be contributing factors in the crash.

Cayford is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 25. He is being represented by Waterville attorney Charles Ferris, according to court records.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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