GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - The mother of slain Gouverneur teen Treyanna Summerville has been charged in her daughter’s death.
Lashanna Charlton voluntarily surrendered to state police at the Gouverneur barracks at 9 a.m. Wednesday. She was arraigned in Gouverneur town court shortly before 11 a.m. on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.
She pleaded not guilty.
Charlton appeared frail and was assisted into the courtroom by state troopers. She had turned herself in to state police earlier in the day.
Bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. Her family told the court that they could only afford $12,000, so she was taken to St. Lawrence County jail.
Her attorney, Melissa Swartz, said that her client had been hospitalized for much of the last week and had spent some time in a psychiatric institution.
She asked that Charlton be released on her own recognizance. Her father was in the courtroom and wanted to take Charlton with him when he returned home to Virginia.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua argued that Charlton is a flight risk.
There was no discussion on evidence in the case. Most of the conversation was about bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.
The 18 year old Summerville was found dead in her 135 Rowley Street home on June 22. That was a few days before she was set to graduate from Gouverneur High School.
Summerville’s stepbrother, Isiah Samuels, has told 7 News of years of abuse he and his stepsister suffered at Charlton’s hand.
A 13 year old girl has been charged with murder. Samuels has said she is his half-sister, who lived in the home with Summerville and Charlton, and he doesn’t think she committed murder. Her case is being handled in youth court, where records are sealed.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Pasqua was asked if the 13 year old is still facing a murder charge.
“That charge is still pending at this time,” said Pasqua. “This is a fluid investigation. That charge was laid at that time based upon the evidence that we had and still have. Through the course of our investigation, based on the evidence collected by the New York State Police, there was a belief that there was probable cause to make this arrest today.
Several people in Gouverneur have said Summerville showed signs of abuse in the months leading up to her death and they blame authorities for not doing enough.
Gouverneur police say they were called to the home 16 times over seven years for complaints that included child abuse and neglect.
Charlton was charged with felony assault and endangering the welfare of a child as a result of a complaint in March 2013. The case is sealed, so the results are unknown.
Pasqua was asked at the news conference if the investigation might include things other than the death of Summerville.
“My focus right now is on the death of Treyanna Summerville and making sure we do everything in our power to uncover whatever the truth of that matter is and make sure that we do our best to get justice for her,” said Pasqua.