WATERVILLE — Timothy Silva, the driver in an automobile accident that killed two teenagers and a 12-year-old in Clinton, was released Tuesday into the custody of his mother.

Meanwhile, emotions boiled over outside the courthouse in Waterville as Silva’s supporters clashed with family members and friends of those who died in the accident.

Silva, 17, was arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and driving to endanger causing serious bodily injury in the Feb. 9 crash, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

Silva had been confined since his arrest at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

Silva was released into the custody of his mother, Heidi Booth of Fairfield, with several conditions, despite testimony from a corrections officer that Booth could not provide the support Silva needs, and testimony that Booth had refused therapy and services offered in May — but had since agreed to them.



Testimony from law enforcement and witnesses at the crash in February said Silva attempted to leave the accident scene, and to get the other survivor of the crash to collaborate with him to get “their stories straight.”

Cpl. Phil DeLuca of the Clinton Police Department previously said officers had worked closely with local residents to reconstruct a 24-hour timeline of events that ended in the crash, which Clinton police Chief Rusty Bell attested to Tuesday. Bell confirmed Silva left at about 2:15 a.m. the morning of the crash in his mother’s 2007 Toyota Corolla, with four other juveniles. They reportedly drove around the area, including Waterville, where they stopped at Walmart, and up Interstate 95, ending up at the Big Apple in Fairfield.

The crash occurred at 7:16 a.m. on Hinckley Road, about 2 miles from downtown Clinton, when the vehicle, with the youths inside, apparently struck a patch of ice and slammed into a large tree, Bell said. Three were dead inside the car when rescue workers arrived, and the surviving victim, Nevaeh Wilson, was trapped in the vehicle.

Clinton fatal

Ashlin Baker, 12, left, Emily Baker, 14, and Thomas Porfirio, 15, were killed Feb. 9 in a one-car crash on Hinckley Road in Clinton. Contributed photos

Killed in the crash were sisters Emily and Ashlin Baker, 14 and 12, respectively, and Thomas “Tommy” Porfirio, 15. Driver inexperience and speed are likely causes of the crash, according to Bell. Both Wilson and Silva were treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland for injuries that were not life-threatening.

“(A witness) told me that (Silva) asked her if he could get a ride and if he could use her phone,” Bell said. “She said that (Silva) had gone to the living victim that was trapped inside of the car and she characterized it as getting their story straight, or that kind of thing.”

Bell added that Pittsfield Police Chief Harold Bickmore, who was conducting interviews at the hospital after the accident, received a report from a nurse saying Silva had asked to have access to Wilson’s room while she was being treated to “get their stories straight.”


Bell confirmed Tuesday that Silva, the operator of the vehicle, did not have a license at the time of the crash, but said there was no proof to rumors that this was not the first time Silva had taken his mother’s vehicle.

Bell said that he read posts Silva made on a social media account the day of the accident.

“After the crash,” Bell said, “I viewed social media posts saying that he’s got the keys and wants to go for another ride — and promises that he won’t crash this time.”


Russ McMahon, a juvenile corrections officer for the state, said at the hearing he became involved in the case about a week before Silva’s arrest, after being contacted by the Fairfield Police Department regarding an arrest warrant. McMahon has worked with Silva’s parents and service providers to work out counseling and other services offered to Silva.

McMahon said he initially had concerns about Silva being released to his mother, saying the severity of the case may be too much.


“This is a high-profile case,” McMahon said. “Emotions are running high. I wasn’t sure if his mom was going to be able to supply the support he may need, if he is released.”

He said Silva had been receiving weekly counseling services from an individual provider. The provider in April referred him to multisystemic therapy, where a provider would come into the home multiple times a week and put a safety plan in place, among other services. Booth denied these service mid-May, but agreed to them the morning of the hearing.

Booth was then questioned about her son’s behavior since the accident. Booth said that after the accident, she had asked her son several times to stay off social media, but he did not. However, she said if he were to be sent home in her care, he would not have access to a telephone.

Since the accident, Booth said she has been sleeping with the car keys under her pillow, but said she would lock them in a safe, if necessary, and was open to hearing suggestions on how to monitor her son while he is home.

Booth, who works as a caregiver for her elderly mother at home, said she would be able to supervise Silva by herself. The night before the crash, she said she did not know that he was out and thought he was sleeping in his room. She agreed to implement several rules, including not having his phone and monitoring his relationships.

Carie James, an assistant district attorney, urged the judge to consider keeping Silva at Long Creek, saying, “Anything less than detention cannot assure the court that the defendant will appear.”


“Serious charges increase the chances of the defendant not appearing in court and facing what could be commitment to the youth center until his 21st birthday,” James said. “(Silva) asked (a witness) at the scene to give him a ride, he was trying to flee the scene, he asked her to bring him home, he couldn’t be there when police arrived.”

James cited several attempts Silva had made to intimidate the surviving victim at the scene of the accident and at the hospital.


After a brief recess, Waterville District Court Judge Charles Dow decided that, given the statute, Silva could be released to his mother’s care with conditions, which include being under house arrest and not being allowed to leave home without a parent or mental health professional “except to go directly from school, employment, medical appointments, counseling and evaluation.”

Silva is to have no contact with the surviving victim or the deceased victims’ families without prior consent. He is not to possess any vehicle keys and all keys in the household must be locked up when not in use. He is not to travel outside of the state, operate a vehicle, and waives extradition from the state and country.

Tony Porfirio, father of Tommy Porfirio, center, and others engage police after families of accident victims exchanged words with supporters of Timothy Silva outside Waterville District Court after a detention hearing for Silva in Waterville Tuesday. Silva was the driver of a vehicle that crashed killing Tommy Porfirio and sisters Emily and Ashlin Baker. About 30 people gathered outside the courthouse wearing shirts in support of Pofirio. A photo of Tommy is on the front of his father’s shirt. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

Silva’s mother said that he will not have access to a cellphone while at home, and his conditions say that he is not to access social media or possess devices that can connect to the internet, with the exception of television and when meeting via video with counselors or viewing educational opportunities.


“The fact that he was released was no great surprise,” Walter McKee, Silva’s attorney, said in a phone call after the hearing. “(Silva) was relieved to find that out. He has been at Long Creek Youth Development center since Thursday and is looking forward to going home.”


After the hearing, the victims’ families and friends and those who support Silva confronted one another outside of Waterville District Court.

Tony Porfirio, father of the boy who was killed in the accident, said the confrontation started after he witnessed friends of Silva laughing about the hearing.

“(Silva’s) friends were here, and they were laughing and joking about the whole thing,” Porfirio said. “My son is gone, and (Silva’s) friends were out here supporting him and they started laughing like it’s some kind of joke.”

Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said the situation was defused in minutes by police and no arrests were made.


“There was a group who is in support of (Silva) and a large group of family members of the victims, and from what I could tell, someone in (Silva’s) group said something that caused a volatile reaction,” Maloney said.

She said police deescalated the situation, understanding where emotions were at.

“Things were handled well (by police),” Maloney said. “We try to deescalate, so I feel law enforcement handled it well. I appreciate that. People are hurting, and it’s important to remember that emotions are raw.

“People lost three children in Clinton. These are three children that lost their lives and that’s why emotions are so raw. I feel like law enforcement was really respectful of that and understood that that was why emotions are so raw.”

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