PORTLAND – Seeking a new trial for a Standish woman who was convicted of beating her husband nearly to death with a softball bat, Daniel Lilley on Friday accused Cumberland County’s district attorney of prosecutorial misconduct.

Linda Dolloff’s attorney claims District Attorney Stephanie Anderson misled the jury during closing arguments in Dolloff’s trial in May, and violated bar rules by interjecting her personal opinions more than a dozen times.

“There are issues of prosecutorial impropriety, misstatements of facts, and efforts to admit inadmissible materials,” Lilley told Justice Joyce Wheeler during Friday’s hearing in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Wheeler heard arguments from both sides on Lilley’s motion for a judgment of acquittal or for a new trial. The judge expects to hear more during a second part of the hearing on Dec. 2.

Dolloff, wearing a gold necklace and an orange, prison-issued sweatshirt and pants, sat behind Lilley and his legal partner, Karen Wolfram. Several of her family members sat on benches right behind them. Dolloff appeared calm and was not asked to speak during the hearing.

Clearly outraged by Lilley’s accusations, Anderson fired back, standing at one point to tell Wheeler that Lilley regrets decisions he made during the trial, and that he shouldn’t get a second chance.

“I’m having a hard time sitting here,” Anderson said.

“I’m sure you are,” Lilley said.

Assistant District Attorney Anne Berlind took on the role of defending her boss at the hearing. She said prosecutors are allowed plenty of leeway in closing arguments. While Anderson’s presentation may have been aggressive, Berlind said, it was fair and well within legal boundaries.

“When you look at the closing statement as a whole, it is all appealing to common sense and it is all based on the evidence,” Berlind said. “The defendant certainly wasn’t denied a fair trial.”

Dolloff was accused of beating her husband, Jeffrey Dolloff, on the head with a softball bat, then shooting herself to make the assault look like a home invasion.

After a three-week trial, the jury convicted her of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report. She faces as much as 30 years in prison.

Lilley claims Anderson intentionally misled the jury during her closing argument when she said the only way Dolloff could have gotten blood on her clothes on the morning of April 12, 2009, was from beating her husband with the bat.

“There is no other explanation for that,” Lilley said, quoting part of Anderson’s remarks.

That statement, Lilley argued, contradicted the report of the state’s own blood spatter expert, who said he could not be certain how the blood got on Dolloff’s shirt and it may have happened when Jeffrey Dolloff sat up in his bed, vomiting blood.

“She continued to mislead the jury on these same issues, blood spatter conclusions, in rebuttal,” Lilley said.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]