Maine State Police on Monday continued to investigate the Saturday stabbing death of an East Pittston man at the mansion he ran as a boarding home.

Authorities said 51-year-old Dale Clifford died of a stab wound to the chest after a confrontation with a tenant, but no charges have been filed in the case.

However, the girlfriend of a tenant in the home told the Kennebec Journal on Sunday that he stabbed the landlord in self-defense. That tenant hasn’t been identified by his girlfriend or police, who also haven’t said if that person was the stabber.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Monday that he had no updates on the case, but that police are still investigating and more interviews and evidence analysis will follow. He said there’s no timetable for the investigation’s completion, and he demurred when asked if the stabbing appeared to have been in self-defense.

“It is the circumstances that we’re trying to firm up, and we have not made any conclusions at this point,” McCausland said.

But Lucinda Albano, the tenant’s girlfriend, said the stabbing happened when Clifford cornered and choked the tenant after pushing his way into a bathroom the couple was in. She said her boyfriend stabbed him once with a pocket knife, pushed him out of the way and ran from the house to call 911 at the Village General Store next to the Clifford property on East Pittston Road.

Albano said the incident came after a day of erratic behavior by Clifford, who she said illegally tried to evict the couple Friday and threatened them Saturday, prompting her to call police repeatedly because the couple was “truly scared” about their well-being. She said a state trooper went to the home once that day, but that police didn’t heed her concerns that the landlord was dangerous.

A log on Albano’s cellphone showed that she called emergency dispatchers at the state’s regional communications center in Augusta nine times Saturday.

On Monday, the Kennebec Journal made a request under Maine’s public access laws for transcripts of those 911 calls. Maine Department of Public Safety attorney Christopher Parr estimated that it may take between two weeks and a month to process the request.

The large, Queen Anne-style home that the couple rented a room in is known as Moody Mansion or Konig Villa, and it’s a landmark in the East Pittston village. It was built in 1890 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Town records say Clifford bought the home in 2011. He worked to restore it after that, and his family opened a seasonal takeout restaurant there in 2013.

Attempts to reach members of Clifford’s family for comment through Facebook were unsuccessful Monday, and a call to a number listed on a still-active page for the restaurant went unreturned.

However, neighbor Larry Ireland said before news of Clifford’s death was released Sunday that as far as he knew, Clifford and his wife, Deborah, were “first-rate people” who “didn’t want trouble.”


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