Franklin Countys First News

Manslaughter charge dismissed against Kingfield resident

FARMINGTON - All charges against a woman previously accused of operating a motor vehicle in a fatal crash on the West Kingfield Road last year were dismissed Wednesday.

Danielle Larochelle, 31 of Kingfield had previously been indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on charges of manslaughter, a Class A felony, and aggravated operating under the influence, a Class B felony. The charges stemmed from a single-vehicle crash that occurred in Kingfield on July 8, 2018.

At approximately 10 p.m. that evening, a silver 2004 Chevy Aveo was traveling westbound on the West Kingfield Road when it left the roadway and struck several trees. One of the four occupants, Nicholas Shurtleff, 25 of Strong, was flung from the vehicle and died at the scene. According to the state's case, Larochelle had been the driver, with police previously indicating that her blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.

Larochelle was arrested in August 2018 by Franklin County Sheriff's Office. She was indicted in January.

The dismissal filed by Deputy District Attorney James Andrews, dated June 5, indicated that the state had insufficient evidence to proceed at this time. It also indicated that the state had discovered additional evidence that required further investigation.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be brought back by the state at a later date.

Larochelle was represented by co-counsels Jesse James Ian Archer and James Howaniec. Reached Friday, Archer said that they were pleased with the dismissal on behalf of their client. While Archer did not speculate on why the District Attorney's Office had filed the dismissal, he did note that Larochelle's defense had filed pretrial motions highlighting what they saw as issues with the state's case. These included a motion in limine regarding evidentiary issues.

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2 Responses »

  1. I wonder if Nick Shurtleff's family is in agreement that there was insufficient evidence?? Sad!!

  2. I can assure you they are not in agreement on that matter.