July 16, 2010

Attorneys for Dolloff want verdict overturned

They file a motion seeking an acquittal or new trial on her attempted-murder conviction.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Linda Dolloff's attorneys are asking a judge to overturn the Standish woman's conviction or order a new trial in the attempted murder of her husband.

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Linda Dolloff

ON ‘20/20’

ABC’s “20/20” news show will air a segment on Linda Dolloff’s attempted-murder trial tonight. The show, scheduled for 10 p.m., can be seen locally on Channel 8, WMTW.

In a motion filed this week in Cumberland County Superior Court, Daniel G. Lilley and Karen Wolfram argue that "no reasonable juror could rationally find" that Linda Dolloff beat Jeffrey Dolloff with a softball bat and then shot herself in the hip as part of a staged home invasion.

Linda Dolloff was found guilty in May of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report. Her sentencing has not been scheduled.

The motion for acquittal, dated Monday, is based mostly on the same evidence that Lilley and Wolfram stressed to the jury. It notes that there were no eyewitnesses to the assault and that Jeffrey Dolloff had no recollection of the incident beyond the morning of April 11, 2009, about 12 hours before the attack.

The motion points out that the Dolloffs never locked the doors to their home, Jeffrey Dolloff had enemies from his work, Linda Dolloff knew that her husband was interested in another woman, and the couple agreed to the terms of a divorce a couple of weeks before the assault.

The lawyers also argue that police almost immediately suspected Linda Dolloff of the assault, that they failed to conduct a competent search or investigation for a home invasion suspect, and that DNA evidence includes genetic material from people besides the Dolloffs.

"The verdict was so clearly against the weight of the evidence as to constitute a manifest miscarriage of justice," the motion says.

If Justice Joyce Wheeler does not order an acquittal, the motion asks for a new trial, arguing that some of the evidence the jurors heard should not have been allowed.

For instance, the motion says Jeffrey Dolloff testified that his life was saved by the 911 operator who called Linda Dolloff back to the phone after she had put it down and said she was going to check on her injured husband.

Several loud noises could be heard in the background on the tape of the 911 call. Jeffrey Dolloff indicated that his interpretation of the tape was that his wife was beating him with the bat while she was away from the phone, and that the second attack stopped only when the operator called for Linda Dolloff to return to the phone.

The lawyers' motion says the testimony was pure speculation, not based on any audio expert's interpretation of the tape.

In alleging prosecutorial misconduct, they say that Jeffrey Dolloff's testimony about the 911 tape "was clearly rehearsed prior to trial," and that District Attorney Stephanie Anderson repeatedly asked leading questions of prosecution witnesses, requiring numerous objections.

Anderson is at a conference in California. Her assistant said she would not return a message left for her Thursday.

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

emurphy@pressherald.com

 

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