MDI woman gets 24 days for hitting girl in Bucksport with car

Posted Dec. 03, 2012, at 2:50 p.m.
Shannon Stanley
Hancock County Jail
Shannon Stanley

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Mount Desert Island woman convicted in 2011 for drug trafficking is going to jail for 24 days after she struck a girl in a Bucksport crosswalk this past March, according to court documents.

Police say that Shannon L. Stanley, 26, was driving under the influence of drugs when she struck the girl, court documents indicate.

Stanley completed a seven-week drug treatment program in Iowa this past summer, after the Bucksport incident, and has been accepted into Hancock County drug court. If she fails to complete drug court successfully, Stanley will go to prison for three and a half years, Hancock County Superior Court documents indicate.

Stanley appeared in court Friday and pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the Bucksport incident.

Stanley was under probation this past March after being arrested in August 2010 for twice selling heroin in Bar Harbor to an undercover Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officer, according to court records. After pleading guilty in July 2011 to a charge of unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, Stanley received a fully suspended sentence of three years behind bars and two years of probation. With the two-year probation term, Stanley was ordered to stay out of trouble with police for two years or else she would face the prospect of going to prison for three years.

But on March 9 of this year, Stanley got behind the wheel of a 2000 Toyota while under the influence of narcotics and drove through Bucksport, striking a girl in a crosswalk. Stanley did not stop and continued into Orrington, where she struck a mailbox before stopping for police.

Information about the age of the girl and the extent of her injuries was not available Monday in the court file about Stanley’s case. According to witness statements in the file, however, the girl was with her mother and rolled up and over the top of the vehicle when she was struck by the car.

“The victim was crying and complained of her hip and back hurting,” one statement indicated.

Stanley’s attorney, Will Blaisdell of Ellsworth, said Monday that the witness statement may not accurately represent what happened in the crosswalk. He declined to give specifics for an alternate version of how the girl was struck, saying his client may end up facing a civil lawsuit for the incident.

Blaisdell did say the driver’s side mirror on the Toyota was damaged in the collision with the girl, whom he described as a teenager. He said he does not know exactly how old the girl is.

Prosecutor Mary Kellett, assistant Hancock County district attorney, could not be contacted Monday afternoon for comment.

According to court documents, Stanley kept driving north on Route 15 into Orrington and was reported by others who observed her driving erratically but did not yet know she had hit someone. Bucksport police and witnesses contacted the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, which sent an officer who got Stanley to pull over.

According to a report written by Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Young, Stanley appeared to be under the influence of drugs when she stopped and spoke to police at the intersection of Snows Corner Road.

Her speech and movements were slow, Young wrote, and drug paraphernalia was visible in the vehicle, including a spoon with white residue on it, a shoelace with spots of blood on it, and hypodermic needles.

“I observed that her head was nodding forward like she was having difficulty staying awake,” Young wrote.

Stanley ended up facing multiple charges including operating under the influence of intoxicants, reckless conduct, failure to notify police of a motor vehicle accident, attachment of false plates and driving to endanger.

Stanley appeared in Hancock County Superior Court on Friday to plead guilty to the OUI and reckless conduct charges. The other charges were dismissed as part of the agreement with the Hancock County District Attorney’s office that requires her to successfully complete the drug court program, according to court documents.

Drug court is an alternate type of court program available in some Maine counties that establishes an intensive monitoring system for qualified drug-addicted offenders with the goal of helping them overcome their dependencies instead of putting them in jail without sufficient treatment.

If she does successfully complete the program, Stanley will receive a two-year, fully suspended sentence for the reckless conduct conviction and probation of one year. If not, she will have to serve three and a half years for the reckless conduct conviction, concurrent with a full probation revocation of three years for the 2011 drug trafficking conviction.

Stanley was ordered to pay $30 restitution to the girl she hit in the crosswalk, $59.98 in restitution to the Orrington man whose mailbox she struck, and a $500 fine, court documents indicate.

Blaisdell said his client, with the exception of the drug treatment program she attended in Iowa, since the March incident has been living in Tremont with her father and observing a curfew every night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Stanley will have to continue adhering to these conditions after she is released from jail and while she is participating in the drug court program, he said.

Blaisdell said there is no set length of time for participating in the program. Stanley is expected to be in the program for at least a year but probably not more than 15 months, he said.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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