Sep. 30—GOUVERNEUR — The mother of an 18-year-old girl found dead at her Rowley Street home in June 2020 has been indicted for murder.
Lashanna N. Charlton, who was 38 at the time of her daughter's death, is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.
The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment announced Thursday by the St. Lawrence County District Attorney's Office.
The top three counts relate to the death of Treyanna N. Summerville, the 18-year-old Gouverneur Central School student who was found dead June 22, 2020.
Charlton allegedly subjected Treyanna to "prolonged physical abuse" between June 16 and 22, 2020, and struck her knee with a hammer. The blow ultimately caused an infection and sepsis, for which Charlton failed to seek medical attention, according to the indictment.
During the same time period, the indictment further alleges Charlton did not provide Treyanna with adequate nutrition and that she administered large doses of diphenhydramine to her, causing intoxication. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine with sedative properties and the active ingredient in Benadryl and many other over-the-counter medications.
The murder and manslaughter counts in the indictment describe the entirety of Charlton's conduct as the cause of Treyanna's death.
Her half sister, who has not been publicly identified due to her age, was charged with second-degree murder the day Treyanna was found. She was 13 at the time.
Nearly a month later, on July 15, 2020, Charlton was charged with manslaughter. She allegedly contributed "substantially" to the malnourishment and assault of Treyanna between June 18 and 22, 2020, according to an initial criminal complaint filed by state police in Gouverneur Town Court.
The criminal complaint against Charlton alleged she failed to seek medical assistance while Treyanna was "unconscious as a result of the malnourishment and assault," therefore demonstrating a knowing disregard for her life and creating "substantial and unjustifiable risk" of Treyanna's injuries leading to her death.
Earlier this month, District Attorney Gary M. Pasqua confirmed that an order dismissing the murder count against the half sister, now 14, had been signed in the youth part of County Court. He was unable to provide additional information because, with the dismissal, the case against the juvenile has been sealed.
The endangering the welfare of a child count also included in the indictment against Charlton relates to a person with a 2006 birth date.
Charlton had been arraigned on the initial manslaughter count in Town Court, entering a not guilty plea. She was ordered held at that time at the county jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. A day later, bond was posted and she was released.
A date for an arraignment on the charges contained in the indictment was not immediately available.
Ellis Giacomelli contributed to this report.