Photographer Bob Shell convicted over model’s death

Bob Shell, one of the world’s best-known photographic journalists, has been convicted of the ‘involuntary manslaughter’ of a 19-year-old model in 2003, according to US press reports.

Shell was a regular on the photographic trade show circuit and has written more than 20 books on cameras and photography, one of which is pictured here

Bob Shell
Bob Shell, one of the world’s best-known photographic journalists, has been convicted of the ‘involuntary manslaughter’ of a 19-year-old model in 2003, according to US press reports.

The model, Marion Franklin, died of an accidental overdose of morphine at Shell’s studio in Radford, Virginia.

Shell, 60, former technical editor and later editor-in-chief of the US-based photography magazine Shutterbug faces ‘up to 131 years’ in prison, according to a report published by news agency Associated Press.

‘Prosecutors say Shell gave Franklin a lethal dose of morphine at his studio in June 2003,’ added the Associated Press article.

‘Two people testified that they saw Shell squeeze what they believed to be morphine into Franklin’s wine glass that day. Shell testified… that it was instead the herbal supplement echinacea.’

Shell was a regular on the photographic trade show circuit and has written more than 20 books on cameras and photography (one of which is pictured here).

He is highly regarded for his product knowledge and insight on upcoming products and industry-related issues.

The jury recommended that Shell be jailed for 32 years and six months – and fined $5,000 – for the involuntary manslaughter conviction and seven other sex and drug related charges.

He is expected to receive a minimum jail term of six years when he is sentenced next month.

The Radford court declined to comment on the case when contacted by Amateur Photographer.

Shell’s lawyer argued that ‘Franklin was a regular drug user and Shell’s lover, who caused her own death through her own behaviour,’ reported local newspaper The Roanoke Times.

Shell reportedly denied that he was infatuated with the model, instead insisting that he and Franklin had been involved in an ongoing relationship.

He is expected to be formally sentenced on 26 October.

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