Man who violated protection order that may have led to suicide could get 5 years

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The I-95 bridge over the Piscataqua River where the ex-girlfriend jumped to her death. (Courtesy photo)

PORTLAND, Maine - A Kittery man pleaded guilty to two counts of interstate travel to violate a protection order, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Monday.

According to court documents, in April 2016, Nelson Jean Dion, 53, who resided in Maine, was arrested for felony aggravated assault involving his former live-in girlfriend, who was at the time living in a domestic violence shelter in Portsmouth, N.H.

A few days later, Dion was released on bail subject to a protection order that prohibited contact with his former girlfriend.

Despite the protection order, between April and June 2016, Dion traveled from Maine to New Hampshire to have contact with the girlfriend.

On June 30, 2016, the girlfriend jumped from the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95 and died the next day.

Dion faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The woman, identified as a 38-year-old Kittery woman in a Rochester Voice article published July 1, 2016, jumped from the bridge a little after 10 a.m. She was pulled from the water between the I-95 and Sara Long bridges by Marine Patrol and rushed to a local hospital but died the next day.

The Kittery, Berwick, and Eliot, Maine Police Departments; the York County District Attorney's Office; the Portsmouth, N.H., Police Department; and the FBI investigated the case.

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