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Retired District Attorney May Have Abused Discretion

Retired District Attorney May Have Abused Discretion
November 03
22:44 2017

Ellsworth District Attorney mysteriously drops vehicular manslaughter charges against local paralegal of Criminal Defense Attorney. 


Imagine your son is walking home from the bar one night. He had a long day at work and wanted to unwind a bit. But he never comes home. You get a knock on your door by local law enforcement telling you that he is never coming home because a drunk driver ran him over, killing him instantly. This is one of the worst feelings in the world for a parent … to lose their child. But the parent was assured that they had the perpetrator in custody and would be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Or so he thought! Later the parent learns that the District Attorney wasn’t going to pursue charges against the perpetrator after everything was set for an indictment. Suddenly, this perpetrator is free to live their life after evidence proves they killed someone. How could this actually happen?


In the early morning of April 28th, 2007, Arthur Smith Jr. was walking home in the rain at approximately 1 am. Jill Ihle had been drinking and driving in her 2001 Dodge Caravan when she hit and killed Arthur Smith Jr. in the southbound lane of Rte. 3 in Trenton. According to an informant, Jill Ihle’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit at the time of the accident and local law enforcement may have purposely delayed the timing of her breathalyzer in an effort to shield her from persecution. The main reason for this….at the time, Jill Ihle was the paralegal/legal secretary for Criminal Defense Attorney Jeffrey Toothaker, who was known to play tennis (according to an informant) with prosecutor Mary Kellett (now sanctioned and fired).

According to the BDN article, written by Bill Trotter,

“A review of published Hancock County grand jury indictments since the accident indicates that Ihle never was indicted in connection with the fatal collision. Unless a defendant agrees to waive indictment, felony charges cannot formally be filed in Superior Court without a grand jury indictment.

When asked about the lack of a grand jury indictment, Bassano declined to comment. She said grand jury proceedings are confidential and are not considered public.”

Based upon the evidence (Breathalyzer results, autopsy report, damage to Ms. Ihle’s vehicle), a grand jury indictment was assured. But DA Bassano used/abused her “prosecutorial discretion” to protect a local Criminal Defense attorney who had ties to the District Attorney’s office. This whole case smells worse than Route 3 in Trenton at low tide. One informant when asked about the possibility that Jeffrey Toothaker cut a deal with the devil said, “That was all Toothaker.”

Jill Ihle, according to her Facebook page, no longer works for Mr. Toothaker. It states she works for KidsPeace, an organization that works with children that have behavioral and mental health issues. I am assuming that since no charges ever came out of her killing Arthur Smith, Jr., she is allowed to work in organizations where there are kids present?

Photos taken after the vehicular manslaughter incident were found where Jill Ihle continues to drink, party, and enjoy life. One would think that if someone was remorseful for their actions, especially if you negligently killed someone with your car after being legally drunk, you might want to change some of your behaviors.

                                                     (Photos taken from Jill Ihre’s public social media pages)

To put Margarita salt into Arthur Smith Sr.’s wound, when he started advocating for his dead son to have charges brought against Jill Ihle, Mr. Smith was arrested and silenced. While it is probably too late to bring charges against Jill Ihle due to statute of limitations,  Retired DA Carletta Bassano can still be held accountable for abusing her discretion by filing a Bar Complaint through the Maine Board of Overseers of the BAR.

Citizens of Maine must hold their public officials accountable for their actions. Otherwise, there is no equal protection under the law, there is no equality, and there is no justice.


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Brian Danielson

Brian Danielson

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