An attractive yoga instructor stands accused of nearly killing her husband with a softball bat after an evening of sex and hot-tubbing, then shoots herself to make it look like a home invasion.

The story of Linda Dolloff’s arrest, trial and conviction for attempted murder captured the attention of residents in Maine. Now, the story is to be told nationally.

An ABC news magazine plans to air a segment on the Standish woman’s case, which began early on Easter morning in 2009.

“They’ve expressed interest in the fact that she doesn’t fit the typical profile of someone who would commit an attempted murder,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion. “This is a yoga instructor assaulting her husband during what is represented to be an amicable divorce.

“For (the network’s) purposes, this is a great story they want to tell to a national audience,” he said.

Film crews from the TV news magazine “20/20” are in Maine this week, interviewing detectives, prosecutors and the victim of the attack, Jeffrey Dolloff, according to some of the interview subjects.

Linda Dolloff’s lawyer, Daniel G. Lilley, said the producers have requested an interview with his client, but she has declined for now.

Understandably, Lilley has a different view of why the story is compelling.

“I’m fearful they’ve convicted an innocent woman and I’ve felt that way all along,” said Lilley, referring to last month’s verdict in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Dolloff, 48, maintained that an intruder broke into the house, beat her husband and then shot her with her husband’s gun before running away.

Prosecutors say she was angry about a pending divorce from her 54-year-old husband, and that he was planning to bring a woman to the house he and his wife continued to share, albeit with separate bedrooms.

Dolloff, who faces as much as 30 years in prison, has been granted an extension to file a motion for a new trial while Lilley and his staff review transcripts of the testimony. That’s more important than any television program, he said.

“I suspect she will not be talking with them until that (process) has gone through, and that’s going to be a while,” he said.

To get a new trial, Dolloff’s defense team must convince the trial judge that evidence doesn’t exist for a reasonable jury to find Dolloff guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lilley said he understands why the case might engage a national television audience.

“One of the reasons is the physical inequity of the two, the idea this woman, (5 feet 4 inches), would do this with a bat to this guy who is (6 feet 2 inches). It made no sense, but then it made no sense anyone else would do it either,” he said.

A producer with “20/20” sat through the trial while film crews recorded it for the program. People involved with the program would not talk about it Tuesday, citing network rules.

Investigators say they have been given clearance by Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson to be interviewed at length about the case, now that Dolloff has been convicted.

Subjects include staff members from the Maine State Police crime lab, Cumberland County Detective Sgt. James Estabrook and Deputy Al Winslow. The police dog Jag, a surprise element in the case, could also get some screen time.

Lilley raised the issue of Jag’s weight in questioning whether the dog would have done an adequate job searching for an intruder around the house before dawn on April 12, 2009.

The television crews may find Mainers a little more laconic than subjects in other parts of the country.

After a long interview with a television crew Tuesday, Estabrook said the important thing is that multiple agencies worked together well, the victim survived and the perpetrator was held accountable.

“I like to do the work. If other people want to talk about it, they can,” he said.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]