PORTLAND – Soon after having surgery and barely nine hours after reporting a home invasion, Linda Dolloff gave police the same account that she has provided ever since then about the night her husband was beaten with a softball bat.

Police started a taped interview with Dolloff around noon on April 12, 2009, and quizzed her for more than an hour about her activities from the day before through the time of the attack.

In a voice that’s barely audible on the tape, she took investigators through her day on April 11 until around 3 a.m. on April 12, when she called 911 to report a home invasion.

Dolloff wept loudly when she described crawling into her husband’s bedroom and seeing Jeffrey Dolloff, who was bleeding profusely from what police reports say was “at least three” hard blows to the head and shoulders with the bat.

Linda Dolloff said the intruder beat her husband and shot her. Prosecutors have charged her with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report, alleging that she beat her husband, then shot herself and reported the home invasion to cover up her crime.

Testimony in the trial, which began 15 days ago, could end as early as today. The state is expected to finish questioning its final witness this morning. Defense lawyer Daniel Lilley says he will probably call only two or three witnesses before resting.

Detective William Ross of the Maine State Police said he interviewed Linda Dolloff after she had surgery for the gunshot wound. She was shot in the abdomen, and the bullet lodged in her right hip.

He asked her about getting up around 7 a.m. and doing yoga exercises on April 11, 2009, going through her daily chores and having dinner with her husband.

Even though the Dolloffs had talked about divorce for most of their 10-year marriage and had reached a divorce agreement a couple of weeks earlier, Linda Dolloff said the two shared a bottle of wine and soaked in their hot tub after dinner, then made love in Jeffrey Dolloff’s bedroom.

Linda Dolloff said she woke up sometime later, disturbed by Jeffrey Dolloff’s snoring and the music from a stereo on the first floor, which she said was almost always on and tuned to a radio station.

She said she went back to her bedroom — the Dolloffs had had separate bedrooms from the time they moved into the house several years earlier — pulled on some clothes and went to sleep.

With Ross repeating most of her account as he led her through the timeline of the day, Linda Dolloff said she heard a noise at some point and went into the hallway on the way to the bathroom.

She said she sensed movement in front of her, heard a bang and fell to the floor. The gun was dropped in front of her, she said, and when she reached out and touched it, the gun went off, sending a bullet through a nearby wall.

She said she had been calling out to her husband but gotten no reply, so she crawled to his bedroom.

Weeping on the tape, Dolloff said she saw her husband and then crawled to the nearby bathroom, where her cell phone was plugged in, and called 911.

Ross ended the interview at that point.

Today, prosecutors are expected to play tapes of interviews of Linda Dolloff five days after the first one and in early June, after she had been identified as a suspect.

Also Wednesday, a state crime lab DNA expert said she found Jeffrey Dolloff’s blood in six of the 11 blood spots on the shirt and pants that Linda Dolloff was wearing at the time of the attack. However, a statement read into evidence later in the day said police didn’t find the blood evidence incriminating.

In the statement, state police Detective Scott Gosselin said his analysis of the blood patterns on Linda Dolloff’s clothes suggested that no conclusion can be drawn as to whether she was involved in the attack.

Prosecutors also read a long entry culled from Linda Dolloff’s computer. It included letters to her husband, a section with her paraphrasing Jeffrey Dolloff as torn between the freedom that divorce offered and his desire for Linda Dolloff, and a draft of a letter to the divorce court asking that any hearing be put off until fall to give the couple time to reconcile.

Prosecutors have said the prospect of losing her marriage and home, along with a feeling of desperation — Linda Dolloff writes of having no choices, while Jeffrey has plenty — drove her to attack her husband.

 

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

[email protected]