PORTLAND — Linda Dolloff had a strong motive for wanting to kill her husband, prosecutors said today before the case was sent to the Cumberland County Superior Court jury that will decide it.

“She’d rather be the grieving widow than the jilted spouse” Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson told the jury before it began deliberations at about 1:45 p.m.

But defense attorney Daniel Lilley said his client had no reason to beat her husband, Jeffrey Dolloff, with a softball bat because the two had reached a divorce agreement that would allow Linda Dolloff to remain in the couple’s Standish house for a year and provided for her financially.

Prosecutors have charged Linda Dolloff with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report, alleging that she beat her husband severely on April 12, 2009, then shot herself in the abdomen and reported a home invasion to cover up the assault. Linda Dolloff said an intruder beat her husband and then shot her.

The case spanned 13 days of testimony, plus nearly five hours of closing statements and jury instructions today.

Anderson replayed a section of a tape of the 911 call Linda Dolloff made at 3 a.m. last April 12, saying that it indicated that Linda Dolloff resumed the assault of her husband during a nearly six-minute stretch in which she put down her cell phone and said she was going off to check on her husband. Anderson said Linda Dolloff also went to the front door during that time, accounting for the report of the first Cumberland County Deputy Sheriff on the scene, who said he saw someone in the door’s window.

Lilley contended that Linda Dolloff never went downstairs until the 911 dispatcher asked her to go and open the door and turn on lights for deputies. He said the officer’s report of seeing someone is “the elephant in the room” that prosecutors have failed to account for and suggests someone else was in the house.

Lilley, who only presented two witnesses, said the prosecution’s account “deserves the John Grisham fiction award of the year.”




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