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Woman gets 4 years for providing drugs that led to Warren death

By Stephen Betts | Jul 30, 2020
Photo by: Knox County Jail Nicole Lemay

Rockland — An Augusta woman was sentenced to four years in prison for providing the drugs that contributed to the death of a 27-year-old Warren woman last year.

The mother of the young woman who died said the sentence was not enough time, considering the impact the crime has had on so many lives.

Nicole Marie Lemay, 33, was sentenced July 29 in Knox County Superior Court by Justice Bruce Mallonee to 10 years in prison with all but four years suspended to be followed by three years of probation for Class B aggravated furnishing of fentanyl. The charge stems from the Aug. 8, 2019, death of Cheyenne Cesarini-Yelverson at her home in Warren.

Lemay will not have to begin serving the sentence until Feb. 1. She is pregnant and expected to give birth to the child in September. The postponement of the prison term will allow her to have the child outside prison and spend some time with her infant.

Lemay was held on the charge since her arrest in May. She will have to report weekly by phone to police while she is free pending the start of her sentence.

Cesarini-Yelverson's mother, Shannon Butler, submitted a letter to the judge asking for Lemay to serve more time in prison, saying the proposed sentence — that was later imposed — was not enough time.

Butler pointed out that her family was using pictures, videos and talking to her daughter's two children — a son who was three years old and a daughter eight months old — to try to have them know "how awesome and beautiful their mother was."

The aggravated drug furnishing charge against Lemay was filed in court Feb. 14 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Lemay was able to evade police even though she was continuing to live in the Augusta area. Lemay was finally arrested when she was a passenger in a car stopped by police.

The state says Lemay gave police a false name, then gave a false name to the hospital staff in Augusta where she was initially taken for an undisclosed medical issue. While there, police determined her identity. Lemay was also sought by police since October 2018 after she stopped meeting with her probation officer.

Lemay was convicted in September 2017 for a drug trafficking offense, where she was sentenced to four years in jail with all but 45 days suspended. She served an additional four months in 2018 after violating probation.

According to an affidavit filed in the Knox County court by Knox County Detective Donald Murray, investigators found evidence on Cesarini-Yelverson's cellphone indicating she was getting drugs from Lemay.

Police also gathered statements from witnesses who also alleged the young Warren woman went to Lemay's residence in Augusta to obtain drugs, including the day of her death.

Evidence also showed that Lemay was a significant dealer of drugs including cocaine and crack cocaine from the residence along with fentanyl.

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