PORTLAND – Jeffrey Dolloff told an investigator that he wasn’t sure that his wife was “psychologically capable” of beating him with a softball bat, the key charge that Linda Dolloff faces in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Defense lawyer Daniel Lilley said Jeffrey Dolloff told the defense’s private investigator in August that he didn’t believe his wife was capable of even “thinking of violence” toward him.

Finishing his third day on the witness stand Monday afternoon, Dolloff didn’t deny making that statement, but said he no longer thinks that’s the case.

He appeared to undercut the prosecution’s stated motive for the attack by saying that his wife didn’t react strongly when he told her that he frequently took women to dinner while on the road for business, shared an apartment — apparently platonically — with a woman, slept in the guest room of one woman’s house and was bringing that woman to Maine to meet his family.

Prosecutors say the news that her husband would introduce another woman to his family was the final straw for Linda Dolloff in her disintegrating marriage, and prompted her to beat her husband nearly to death on April 12, 2009.

They contend that Linda Dolloff beat her husband in the couple’s house in Standish, then shot herself in the abdomen and reported a home invasion as a cover-up. She is charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report.

Defense lawyers also said Monday that a Maine State Police detective concluded in a report that the clothes Linda Dolloff was wearing on the night her husband was attacked don’t provide evidence that she beat him.

BLOOD ON THE SHIRT

Prosecutors on Monday introduced the shirt as evidence. The shirt had to be retrieved from a waste treatment facility in South Portland because police failed to collect it from the operating room where Linda Dolloff was treated for the gunshot wound.

William Ross, the lead investigator for the state police, said he and other detectives spent about 90 minutes digging through eight tons of trash that had been hauled to the site from Maine Medical Center before they found the shirt.

The shirt had blood on the front where Linda Dolloff had been shot, and a couple of spots where blood had soaked into the ends of both sleeves. There were a few other spots of blood on the shirt, but defense lawyer Karen Wolfram said a report by another state police detective indicates that the shirt does nothing to advance the state’s contention.

Prosecutors have not yet introduced evidence on what DNA testing shows about the sources of the blood, or called as a witness the detective who wrote the report quoted by Wolfram.

FINANCIAL STAKE

Also Monday, Lilley noted that Jeffrey Dolloff has a financial stake in the outcome of the trial. The couple agreed two weeks before the attack to a divorce that would give Linda Dolloff $100,000 over 10 years; the right to stay in an apartment attached to the couple’s home for a year, with Jeffrey Dolloff paying her bills; a half-interest in a house the couple owns in Buxton; and half of a 230-acre farm the two bought across the street from their house in Standish.

If Linda Dolloff is convicted, Lilley said, her husband could sue her for damages and her conviction would be proof of her liability. If she is acquitted, she could push for the divorce settlement the two agreed to in a hot tub shortly before the attack.

Jeffrey Dolloff said he has been paying bills for his wife since the attack because he feels responsible for her. The two are still married, although Jeffrey Dolloff has filed for divorce.

“I feel bad about the whole issue,” he said. “She has no income and she’s out of my house.”

Prosecutors later got Jeffrey Dolloff to say that he often told people that he thought his wife would be acquitted of the charges she faces — although he said he was lying.

“I wanted to keep Linda as calm and as collected as I could,” Dolloff said, “so I didn’t have to worry about the neighborhood and anybody being damaged.”

 

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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