PORTLAND – Jeffrey Dolloff was so unsure of his wife’s involvement in his beating that he got into loud arguments with prosecutors over whether he would testify, a private investigator said Friday.

Joseph Thornton, who worked for defense lawyer Daniel Lilley, testified that Jeffrey Dolloff told him in August that he didn’t believe that his wife, Linda Dolloff, was “emotionally capable” of hurting him so severely.

Because of his doubts, Jeffrey Dolloff didn’t want to testify, Thornton said he was told, and he “engaged in shouting matches over whether or not he would testify,” although it wasn’t clear if the arguments were with District Attorney Stephanie Anderson or members of her staff.

Ultimately, Jeffrey Dolloff testified for three days in his wife’s trial, and he said he felt she was responsible for his beating, even though he has no memory of it.

Prosecutors pointed out that Jeffrey Dolloff testified that he often told people last year that he felt his wife wasn’t guilty, figuring it would placate Linda Dolloff if it got back to her.

Friday was the last day of testimony in the trial in Cumberland County Superior Court. Linda Dolloff is charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report.

She says her husband was beaten and she was shot by an intruder in their home in Standish on April 12, 2009, but prosecutors say she beat her husband, then shot herself and reported a home invasion to cover up the assault.

Thornton was part of a very brief defense case by Lilley, who called only two witnesses, who were on the stand for a total of about an hour in a trial with 13 days of testimony.

“We’ve proven our case through their witnesses,” Lilley said after the evidence phase of the trial concluded.

Most of the final day was spent on the testimony of Maine State Police Detective William Ross, who led the investigation.

Prosecutors showed a nearly hour-long videotape of an interview in June in which Ross laid out for Linda Dolloff some of the evidence that suggested she had beaten her husband and shot herself.

When Ross told Linda Dolloff that her husband and his family thought she had committed the assault, she looked stunned. When she finally responded, she told Ross that her husband had said he had “no doubt” that she wasn’t involved.

“I don’t understand,” she told Ross.

Ross then led her through some of the reasons police had to believe she might have been involved, including the couple’s impending divorce, which would mean the loss of the home that she and her husband had built, right down to cutting the timber and milling the lumber they used.

Dolloff told Ross that she felt her husband simply “wanted some time to himself,” then listed changes that Jeffrey Dolloff had indicated he wanted to make to the house.

She also said he was providing for her financially and felt he would continue to do so.

“I have nothing bad to say about his treatment of me,” she told Ross, and added that she wasn’t even upset about Jeffrey Dolloff’s plans to bring a woman with whom he was considering a relationship to the house to meet his family. “I had plenty of time to get accustomed to what was going on,” she said. “I was hurt, of course, but we also had some conversations and he said some nice things.”

Linda Dolloff also said her husband had indicated that he would reconsider their relationship over last summer.

“I had no reason to be angry at him,” she said. “He was taking care of me. He was being fair, and he was being generous.”

Ross said Linda Dolloff was arrested about two weeks later, as authorities feared that the couple’s relationship could turn violent.

Since Linda Dolloff hadn’t been charged, she was free to go to the couple’s house, Ross said, and Jeffrey Dolloff “would greet her in the driveway with a firearm on his hip.”

After she was arrested, Linda Dolloff had bail conditions prohibiting her from going to the house in Standish or contacting her husband.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Monday morning.

They will be followed by the judge’s instructions to the jurors, meaning the case should be in their hands by midday.

 

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

[email protected]