Metro

Three youths allegedly involved in Maine murder had turbulent family backgrounds

he Litchfield home where Kimberly Mironovas was slain.
WGME
The Litchfield home where Kimberly Mironovas was slain.

Two days after Kimberly Mironovas notified the court she had full custody of her 15-year-old son, the teenager and two of his friends plotted to kill her by poisoning her wine. When a dry run failed, Mironovas’s son allegedly strangled her as she slept.

Then, just before he left her bedroom Sunday, Lukas Mironovas allegedly stabbed his mother in the neck, authorities allege.

Lukas Mironovas and his two friends, 15-year-old William S. Smith and 13-year-old Thomas Jay Severance, are in custody in Maine. Mironovas and Smith are charged with murder and Severance is charged with conspiring to kill his friend’s 47-year-old mother.

Advertisement

All three teenagers have turbulent family backgrounds.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Severance’s father, Hassan Redd, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he had paid child support for the past 12½ years — but has never met his son.

Redd, a Roxbury resident, also did not know that his son was under arrest.

“How old is my son? He’s 13, right?” Redd told the Globe. “Is he living with his mother?”

He added, “I haven’t seen my son, period. I pay child support and I don’t even know what my son looks like. . . . I have been paying child support for 12½ years . . . but she completely shut me out.”

Advertisement

The child’s mother, Cassandra Severance, wrote in court papers in 2008 that she had no contact with Redd since early in her pregnancy, when he “disappeared.”

Severance lives on Forest Avenue in Ashland, a short dead-end street off of Pleasant Street. Children’s toys — including a bicycle and a sled — sat beside the front entrance of the home Tuesday.

A woman who answered the door opened it slightly, peeked out, and said “I have no comment.”

The landlord, who identified himself as Kenny Cheung, 63, said Severance’s family are his tenants, but he doesn’t know them well because he’s rarely there. He said they had been renting from him for the past four or five years.

“They don’t cause trouble for me,” he said.

Advertisement

According to records in Middlesex Superior Court, Smith’s father, Christopher G. Sandoval, sought emergency custody of his son in 2005 after Everett police and the Department of Child Services allegedly learned that his mother, Morgan Smith, was injecting heroin in front of him and overdosed while he was in her care.

Sandoval, who hired a private Maine attorney, Walter McKee, to represent his son, could not be reached for comment Tuesday at his home on East Bluff Road in Ashland.

Gayle Donnell, who lives near Smith and watched him grow up, said she gave the teenager and another one of his friends a ride to the commuter rail station in downtown Framingham on April 15 to pick up Lukas Mironovas, who had traveled to Massachusetts from Maine.

Courtesy Anthony Coco
Kimberly Mironovas

Donnell said it was her first time meeting Mironovas.

“They were talking about video games and stuff like that. Nothing particular stuck out in mind. He just looked like a normal 15-year-old,” she said. “The last thing [Mironovas] said to me was, ‘Thank you so much for the ride.’ I mean what kind of kid who has manners like that does such a thing?”

The boys said they were staying in Ashland for a few days and that Smith then planned to travel to Maine with Mironovas, Donnell said.

During the car ride back to Ashland, Donnell said Mironovas asked about what had been happening in town.

“Things have been quiet,” Smith told him, according to Donnell. “It’s Ashland.”

Donnell said she saw a news report about the killing Monday night.

“I almost fell off the chair,” she said. “I’m still blown away by it. . . . It’s unfathomable.”

Smith used to help Donnell and her husband take out the trash and bring groceries into the house. Last year, he helped her decorate her Christmas tree, she said.

“I just can’t fathom that Will had any part in it. He’s certainly not like that,” Donnell said. “He was always as polite as can be.”

Kimberly Mironovas and Alex Mironovas married in 2003 and had their only child, Lukas, in 2003. They filed for divorce in 2007, indicating their marriage had broken down, and that they had been living apart in Ashland for a year before they went to court.

Alex Mironovas was described in court papers as a “dedicated and concerned parent” who had weekend visitations with his son and initially paid $900 a month in child support. In her request filed last week, Kimberly Mironovas sought an adjustment because she had full custody of her son and was also attending school full-time.

Her request was pending at the time of her death.

There was no answer in Ashland at the door listed for Mironovas’s father in court records.

A neighbor said the family that lives there has a girl about 5 or 6 years old and another girl in her preteens. A teenage boy sometimes visits on weekends and plays basketball outside during good weather, said the neighbor, who asked not to be named.

“He doesn’t talk that much. He’s hardly here,” the neighbor said. “He keeps to himself.”

Lukas Mironovas apparently started an illegal bonfire in his Litchfield home just hours before the three teens allegedly killed his mother, according to court records and Anthony Coco, the owner of the Aveda Institute of Maine, the cosmetology school in Augusta where Kimberly was studying.

Slightly flustered, she left early that day.

These types of outbursts were not unusual, said Coco.

“I know she was afraid of him,” Coco added. “She would not talk about him that much but when he did come up, she sounded scared.”

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi. Jerome Campbell can be reached at jerome.campbell@globe.com or @jeromercampbell Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.