Justin Shell PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Manslaughter suspect dies



ELLSWORTH — Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster has confirmed that the Virginia driver charged with manslaughter in the death of a Bar Harbor woman has died.

Justin Shell, 36, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Oct. 18 of natural causes at his home, according to his online obituary.

Shell was charged with manslaughter and driving to endanger on Sept. 12, the same day his 2016 Dodge pickup swerved off Route 3 and into the parking lot of The Chart Room restaurant. The truck hit several parked vehicles and 76-year-old Connie Birkenmeier of Bar Harbor. Birkenmeier was pronounced dead at the scene.

The district attorney’s office was notified of the death after Shell’s mother last week contacted police in Bar Harbor. According to Lt. David Kerns, the district attorney has since received Shell’s death certificate.

After his arrest, Shell was released after posting bail and reportedly returned to Virginia. He was scheduled to appear in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on Nov. 16.

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