AUBURN — A Harrison man has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a 21-year-old from Paris. 

Blood found on Kevin Scribner’s black 2012 F-250 Ford pickup matched Brittany Stanhope’s DNA profile, according to a police affidavit. Scribner, 27, told police he was texting just before the crash that killed Stanhope on Route 117 in Turner on Sept. 19, according to a police affidavit.

Chief Deputy William Gagne of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department said Scribner was arrested Wednesday night on a warrant charging him with leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death. The Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Scribner was released Friday morning from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn where he posted $5,000 cash bail. He had been scheduled to appear at the Unified Criminal Docket in 8th District Court at 1 p.m. on Friday for his first court appearance.

According to Gagne, Scribner has been cooperative during the investigation.

The young woman was headed west toward Buckfield when she developed a problem with her car, a 2004 Sebring, according to police. Stanhope had pulled over to the shoulder and parked her car, the accident report said. She got out of the car and opened the rear passenger door on the driver’s side to get her purse when she was sideswiped by a truck traveling toward Buckfield.

Scribner initially told police that after reading media reports of the fatal accident the following morning, he decided to contact them and report that he drove past Stanhope’s car but thought he hit a deer, police said. He did not stop at the scene, according to police.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant, Androscoggin County Detective Maurice Drouin noted that Scribner’s parents, after seeing media reports about the fatal accident the next morning, told Scribner to call police “because it was the right thing to do.”

According to the affidavit, Scribner was visiting a friend in Turner and told his parents when he arrived home at 9:35 p.m. — about 45 minutes after the crash — that he had been blinded by oncoming headlights during the trip home and thought he hit a deer.

Scribner and his parents went outside to look at the damage to his truck but didn’t see any deer hair. Scribner’s father, Thomas Scribner, asked whether he might have hit a “sign or something” and “Kevin told Thomas, ‘I don’t know what I hit,’” according to police.

“The family watched the news at 11 p.m. and did not see anything so they went to bed,” according to Drouin’s affidavit. After not finding deer hair on the truck, the family watched the news specifically “in case it wasn’t a deer.”

At about 5 a.m. Sept. 20, Scribner’s mother, Wendy Scribner, found her husband crying on the couch. He had seen the news about the crash and learned police were looking for a black pickup truck. “Wendy (later) told Kevin they needed to report this because it was the right thing to do.”

The couple decided to let their son rest until 6:30 a.m., according to the affidavit, when “they told Kevin about the news and he couldn’t believe it.”

When police interviewed Kevin Scribner later that day, he told police he estimated the damage to his truck at about $4,000 and that he’d spent the morning “looking at eBay … for vehicle parts to replace the broken ones on his truck.”

In his affidavit, Drouin noted that he thought the parts shopping was “odd because Kevin’s vehicle had full coverage and the damage would be covered under his insurance policy.”

During the interview, according to Drouin, Scribner told police that when he got home he sent the friend he had been visiting a text, letting her know he had arrived home safe “and to have a good night.”

Police asked to see the text, but Scribner had erased his messages that morning because he said he was having problems with his phone.

Later during the interview, Scribner admitted to police that he was texting on his cellphone prior to the crash, according to the affidavit. He had received a text from his friend “thanking him for a great night … and for him to drive safe” at the same time that Scribner was driving on Route 117 “in the area of the small bridge just before the crash.”

He responded to that text, and then sent a text to someone else about a dirt bike he was considering buying, the affidavit said.

Scribner also told police that after crossing the bridge and just before the crash he saw what he thought was a lifted trunk on a car that was “kind of in his lane, which blinded him.”

The accident happened on a portion of Route 117, also known as the Buckfield Road, on an uphill grade near the intersection with Bennett Road. According to the accident report, there is a “curve warning sign” at the base of the hill, warning drivers of the upcoming grade.

According to the accident report, after a truck struck Stanhope she was “thrown up the roadway and died from injuries sustained. Suspect truck fled the scene and didn’t stop/identify/report.”

According to that report, Stanhope’s sister, Miah Tripp, was a passenger in the vehicle and witnessed the accident.

Stanhope’s car and Scribner’s truck were taken to the Maine State Police Crime Lab for examination. According to Drouin’s affidavit, on Wednesday he received a report from the crime lab that blood found on the passenger-side front fender, the passenger-side mirror housing and the rear passenger door of Scribner’s truck matched Stanhope’s DNA profile. The arrest warrant was issued later that day.

Scribner has no prior criminal history, according to the State Bureau of Identification.

He holds a Class A commercial truck driver’s license, certified as an interstate driver, and has several driving convictions on his license. 

In 2004, he was convicted of violating the restrictions of his driver’s license; his license was suspended for 30 days. In 2008, he was convicted of speeding 55 mph in a 40 mph zone. That same year, and again in 2013, he was convicted of not wearing his seat belt.

Gagne said the investigation was ongoing and considered “very active.” Evidence will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether additional charges will be filed, he said.

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Scribner Affidavit by Scott Taylor

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