PORTLAND – One of the first sheriff’s deputies to arrive at the scene of a reported home invasion in Standish last year said today that he saw a “flash” at the front door of the house, even though he radioed a report to a dispatcher that he saw a person at a front window.

Detective Sgt. James Estabrook of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said he couldn’t make out any details of a figure or flash inside the door as he and another deputy approached the house of Jeffrey Dolloff shortly after 3 a.m. last April 12.

“It was a flash – it was there and it was gone,” Estabrook testified at the trial of Linda Dolloff, who is accused of severely beating her estranged husband with a baseball bat, then shooting herself in the hip and reporting a home invasion. She is charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and making a false report.

Defense lawyers are expected to argue that Estabrook’s report of a person at the door buttresses Linda Dolloff’s contention that someone entered the home, beat Jeffrey Dolloff, took one of his guns and then shot Linda Dolloff when she got up after hearing a noise in the house. The lawyers spent much of the morning’s testimony by a county dispatcher going over the timing of Linda Dolloff’s 911 call, which they hope to use to show that she was upstairs in the house the entire time and the movement Estabrook saw at the door was a person who broke into the home and exited out a side door before deputies entered.

Linda Dolloff came out of the house after a 911 operator relayed Estabrook’s request that she go to the front door of her house, turn on lights and come out. Estabrook said Linda Dolloff fell to the porch after stepping outside, but did not answer clearly when he asked if she was hurt or shot.

Estabrook said he then went into the house, he saw a shell casing on the second step of the stairs leading to the second floor and another on the landing, then a gun on the second floor near the stairs. He then went into Jeffrey Dolloff’s bedroom.

Jeffrey Dolloff was “not well,” Estabrook said. “He was lying on the bed (and) he was covered in blood.”

Estabrook’s testimony will resume this afternoon.


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