AUGUSTA — Three teenagers charged in the stabbing and strangling death of Kimberly Mironovas in Litchfield all attended the same school district in Ashland, Massachusetts, and shared troubled family backgrounds.
But the woman’s 15-year-old son, Lukas, who is charged with her murder, has not been a student at Ashland Public Schools since the 2009-2010 school year, when he would have been 6 or 7 years old.
Sage Arlene Lockhart of Jackson said she befriended Kimberly Mironovas when the two attended Aveda Institute Maine, a cosmetology school in Augusta. “She was a very sweet, caring, understanding woman,” Lockhart said Monday via Facebook Messenger. “She was like the mom of the group and always had a smile on her face. She was outgoing, smart, and did amazing at what she did at school.”
Lockhart added on Tuesday, “She did talk to me about her son, like how he’s threatened people before, stole money, had anger issues, broke his laptop, etc.”
Lukas Mironovas and William Smith, 15, of Ashland, Massachusetts, have been charged with intentional or knowing murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to documents filed Monday at the Capital Judicial Center. A third teen, Thomas Severance, 13, also of Ashland, Massachusetts, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
James Adams, superintendent of Ashland Public Schools, confirmed Tuesday that Smith and Severance are Ashland students and that Mironovas was a student up until the 2009-2010 school year.
Adams declined to answer questions about the circumstances of Mironovas leaving the school district or provide other information about Smith or Severance.
He instead referred to a news release about the incident sent Monday that simply acknowledges “two Ashland students have been detained by Maine Law Enforcement Officials in conjunction with an alleged crime in Litchfield, Maine.”
Lukas Mironovas was not enrolled at Regional School Unit 4, the Maine district that includes students in Litchfield, according to the district’s superintendent. It’s not clear whether he attended a school elsewhere.
The three boys were charged in Kimberly Mironovas’ stabbing and strangling death over the weekend. Maine State Police have classified her death as homicide.
The body of Mironovas was found about 2 a.m. Sunday at her home at 1482 Hallowell Road in Litchfield.
Documents filed in court do not list any motive for the killing. Neither the defense attorneys nor the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam, would discuss the facts of the case or a motive Monday.
According to the juvenile petition filed against Lukas Mironovas, the trio initially planned Saturday to murder Kimberly Mironovas by crushing prescription pills and putting them into her wine. “After the crushed medication failed to dilute sufficiently in liquid, Thomas Severance, William Smith and Lukas Mironovas discussed causing Kimberly’s death by other means: stabbing and strangling her,” the petition states.
The petition says Lukas Mironovas “armed himself with a knife and donned a mask and gloves” and Smith put on gloves early Sunday. Lukas and Smith strangled Kimberly Mironovas, and Lukas also stabbed his mother in the neck, the petition alleges.
Kimberly Mironovas, who formerly lived in Ashland, Massachusetts, bought the single-family building at 1482 Hallowell Road in Litchfield in September 2017.
The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that all three teenagers had troubled upbringings and that Kimberly Mironovas had been notified by a Massachusetts court she had full custody of Lukas just days before she was killed.
Kimberly Mironovas and Alex Mironovas married in 2003 and had their only child, Lukas, that year, according to Middlesex Superior Court records obtained by The Globe. They filed for divorce in 2007 and Alex Mironovas had been granted weekend visitations with his son and initially paid $900 a month in child support, The Globe reported.
In her request filed last week, Kimberly Mironovas sought an adjustment because she had full custody of her son and was attending school full time. Her request was pending at the time of her death.
Severance and Smith also had broken family backgrounds and custody problems, according to Massachusetts records cited by The Globe.
Several Litchfield neighbors said Sunday that they knew little of Kimberly Mironovas.
Anthony Coca, president of Aveda Institute Maine in Augusta, said she had appeared to be happy and had been at the school Saturday, working on clients.
Coco told The Globe on Tuesday that Lukas Mironovas apparently started an illegal bonfire in his Litchfield home just hours before the killing happened — prompting Kimberly to become flustered and leave the cosmetology school early that day.
Coco also said Kimberly was afraid of her son
These types of outbursts were not unusual, Coco said. “She would not talk about him that much, but when he did come up, she sounded scared,” he told The Globe.
Nine people who were family members of Kimberly Mironovas attended the court hearing Monday. They indicated through a victim advocate that they did not want to speak to the news media and did not want to be filmed by television cameras as they were leaving the courthouse.
Elam, the assistant attorney general, said it would be months before the next hearing because mental health competency evaluations must be completed first. The evaluations are necessary because the state is seeking to have the boys’ cases handled in the adult criminal justice system.
Attorney Walter McKee, who has been retained to represent Smith, said the competency evaluation is appropriate “when you’re dealing with really young people” and helps to assess what they understand.
“My client is completely distraught over what happened, and at this point he needs to work through it,” said attorney Kevin Sullivan, who is representing Severance. “He’s 13 years old, and someone died in the home where he was.”