Charlton answers murder, other charges in daughter’s death

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:16 AM EDT
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - The mother of Treyanna Summerville pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to killing the teen.

Lashanna Charlton appeared in St. Lawrence County Court before Judge Tatiana Coffinger. Charlton pleaded not guilty to murder and two manslaughter charges.

Charlton’s lawyer argued for her client to remain free on the $50,000 bond she posted in July 2020.

“I don’t think there have been any significant changes in the case that would warrant increasing that bail at this time,” said Melissa Swartz.

The judge allowed to Charlton to remain free on bail, to reappear November 8.

Charlton is accused of subjecting Summerville to “prolonged physical abuse” in their Gouverneur home last summer.

In court Wednesday morning, Charlton said she believes the case against her relies almost entirely on the word of one witness.

Charlton, Summerville and her half-sister all lived in the Gouverneur home.

An order of protection was issued for Summerville’s 14-year-old half sister. Without naming her, Charlton’s defense lawyer said she may need to talk to her.

“It’s also the individual that I believe is necessary, although I have not seen the grand jury minutes, to prove the people’s case in its entirety,” said Swartz.

Just before Charlton was indicted, a murder charge against the 14-year-old was dismissed.

It was also revealed in court that the defense will offer psychiatric evidence. The prosecution wants its own assessment of Charlton.

“We have the right to have the defendant examined by our own expert as part of that,” said Gary Pasqua, St. Lawrence County District Attorney.

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