Timothy Silva will remain at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland until his 21st birthday, a sentencing decision upheld Thursday by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

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

In a unanimous decision, the supreme court affirmed the juvenile court’s disposition to sentence Silva to Long Creek until his 21st birthday for charges including vehicular manslaughter that resulted in the deaths of Tommy Porfirio, 15, and Emily and Ashlin Baker, ages 14 and 12 respectively, and seriously injuring another teen.

Silva also pleaded guilty in November to charges of driving to endanger, criminal speeding and operating a motor vehicle without a license, all of which were charged as adult crimes.

On Dec. 4, Silva was sentenced to serve up to four years in the youth detention center.

The Bangor Daily News reported Silva’s attorneys argued last month before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that the four-year sentence was too harsh and that Silva instead should have been sentenced to home confinement.

On Thursday, the court sided with the juvenile court’s disposition, citing after careful consideration, the “juvenile’s interest, the public’s interest, and the victims’ interest, knowing that whatever disposition it fashioned would never heal the pain of the victims’ loved ones nor turn back the clock for Silva.”

Justice Ellen Gorman wrote in the opinion that after reviewing the factors of the case and “based on Silva’s own statement, that Silva did not adequately demonstrate that he had accepted responsibility for his conduct and instead believed that the victims shared in the blame for the collisions.”

On Feb. 9, 2020, at around 7:16 a.m., Silva was operating a vehicle that crashed on Hinckley Road in Clinton about 2 miles from downtown. The vehicle, with the youths inside, apparently struck a patch of ice and slammed into a large tree.

Tim Silva talks to his mother on Nov. 20, 2020, during a recess in proceedings at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. Silva pleaded guilty to crimes he was charged with in the deaths of three teens in a February 2020 car crash. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

An investigation showed that Silva had left in his mother’s 2007 Toyota Corolla at about 2:15 a.m the morning of the crash and had driven around the area, including Waterville, where he and his passengers stopped at Walmart, and then up Interstate 95, ending up at the Big Apple in Fairfield.

On Dec. 4, Waterville District Court Judge Charles Dow sentenced Silva to be committed to the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland until he’s 21 years old.

During court proceedings, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney provided details from the morning of the crash, including that state police found that Silva was driving 85 mph in a posted 40 mph zone during their investigation. Shortly after the crash, Silva made a social media post alleging that he wanted to go for another ride, but “I promise I won’t crash this time ….”

Maloney argued that a lesser sentence for Silva would “depreciate the seriousness of juvenile’s (Silva’s) conduct.”

Walter McKee, Silva’s attorney, argued for a suspended sentence, citing “a lack of maturity, an undeveloped sense of responsibility that leads to recklessness, impulsivity and heedless risk tasking,” and that juveniles have a better chance at reform than adults.

On Thursday, Maloney spoke in favor of the higher court’s decision.

“I appreciate the Law Court’s careful reasoning and guidance,” Maloney said in a message. “The criminal conduct in this case devastated our community. As stated in Maine statute, a lesser sentence would ‘depreciate the seriousness of the juvenile’s conduct.’ I agree with the decision of the Law Court.”

McKee did not return a voicemail left Thursday evening.

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