Carine Reeves Credit: Courtesy of Washington County Jail

A man accused of slaying a Maine woman in Cherryfield more than 2½ years ago pleaded not guilty to murder Friday in Washington County Superior Court in Machias.

Carine Reeves, 39, of New York City was returned to Maine on Tuesday and is being held without bail at the Washington County Jail. He made his first appearance Friday afternoon before Superior Court Justice Bruce Mallonee, a court clerk said.

Reeves is accused of shooting to death Sally Shaw, 55, of New Gloucester. Her body was found by a passing motorist on Route 193 on July 19, 2017, according to court documents.

She died of a single gunshot wound to the head, and a .45 caliber casing was found about 6 feet from her body, according to police affidavits filed in Washington County. Shaw allegedly drove for Reeves when he came to Maine to sell drugs.

Shaw’s rental car was found about 11 miles away from Shaw’s body with front-end damage at the intersection of Routes 193 and 9.

Reeves and Quaneysha Greeley, 21, of Lewiston, who witnessed the slaying, were arrested in New York a month after Shaw was killed. Greeley was returned immediately to Maine but Reeves remained in New York on an outstanding assault charge. While awaiting trial on that case, he was charged with assaulting a corrections officer.

The resolution of those cases delayed his return to Maine, according to the Maine attorney general’s office.

In September 2018, Greeley pleaded guilty to one count each of hindering apprehension and conspiracy to distribute drugs. She is free on $2,500 bail with a condition of home confinement but is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness at Reeves’ trial, according to her attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth. Greeley will be sentenced after that.

Toothaker said Friday that his client “is ready and eager to testify about what happened on this day.”

“This was a spontaneous act of anger and very violent,” he said.

Reeves was in a romantic relationship with Greeley and Shaw, according to court documents.

Reeves’ trial is tentatively set to begin May 18 in Machias before Superior Court Justice Harold Stewart II. It could be continued if Reeves’ attorneys, Robert Van Horn of Ellsworth and John Steed of Blue Hill, need more preparation time.

Steed declined to comment on Friday.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea is prosecuting the case.

It is the practice of the Maine attorney general’s office not to comment on pending cases.

Reeves was sentenced in 2018 to 20 years in prison after being convicted in a New York court of slashing the face of a 36-year-old woman on Feb. 25, 2017, in front of a gas station in the Ozone Park section of Queens. The victim had a laceration on her face from the middle of her left ear to her left nostril, the jury found. It took 16 to 20 stitches to close the wound.

He also was sentenced for assaulting the corrections officer but information on his sentence was not available early Friday.

If convicted of murder, Reeves would be returned to New York to complete his sentence there before returning to Maine to begin serving his sentence in Shaw’s slaying.

The penalty for murder in Maine is 25 years to life in prison.

BDN reporter Nick Sambides Jr. contributed to this report.