BELFAST, Maine — The Brooks man accused of shooting his wife to death Friday told a friend he did it because she had been nagging him over a truck muffler, according to a police affidavit released Monday at Waldo County District Court.
Michael Littlefield then laid down on the floor next to Deborah Littlefield’s body, while he contemplated shooting himself.
After interviewing witnesses and family members, Detective Jason Andrews of the Maine State Police Criminal Investigation Division was informed that Littlefield said he had “blowed her brains out,” that he “couldn’t take it anymore,” and that he was “going to take care of this,” according to the affidavit.
Judge Jane S. Bradley ordered Littlefield, 48, to be held without bail Monday afternoon and also to undergo insanity, competency and mental examinations. The initial court appearance was held by video link from a West Bath courtroom to Two Bridges Regional Jail, where Littlefield has been in custody since his arrest Friday.
He has been charged with intentional or knowing murder in the death of Deborah Littlefield, 49, who reportedly died in the kitchen of the couple’s Veteran’s Highway home.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea wrote in a motion for forensic evaluation that the state requested Michael Littlefield’s mental condition be evaluated because it anticipates that a “likely issue” in the case will be whether he had a serious mental condition that may have caused him to not “be able to appreciate the wrong-fulness of his conduct.”
The grisly events of Friday are sketched out in an affidavit signed by CID Detective Andrews.
According to Andrews, police first became aware of the problem in Brooks at 7:08 p.m., when Sherrill Littlefield called to report that her sister-in-law, Debbie, was dead.
Roger Littlefield, the accused man’s brother, had gone to check on Debbie Littlefield while his sister was calling police dispatchers, Andrews wrote.
“Roger stated his sister-in-law is dead,” he wrote. “Roger further described she had been shot and the side of her head was gone.”
When Deputy Sgt. Dale Brown of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department arrived about 15 minutes later, he found a woman lying dead on the kitchen floor, and no one else in the house.
As Brown arrived, another one of Michael Littlefield’s siblings called the dispatch center for Waldo County. Nancy Whitcomb reported Littlefield had arrived at her house and told her that he had “shot and killed his wife,” according to the affidavit.
Later, she went to the scene of the crime and spoke briefly with Chief Deputy Robert Keating of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office. Whitcomb said that Littlefield came to her house and told her that he had “blowed her brains out,” according to the affidavit.
Whitcomb also told Keating that Michael told her “he couldn’t take it anymore” and “he was going to take care of this,” Andrews wrote.
Littlefield evidently had driven to the home of Donald Nickerson on Back Brooks Road in Monroe sometime after 7 p.m., and told him that he had “shot his wife in the head” about four hours earlier, according to the police affidavit. Nickerson’s relationship to Littlefield was not specified in the affidavit.
“During this time, he observed the rifle in plain view inside Michael Littlefield’s pickup truck,” Andrews wrote. “Michael went on to tell Mr. Nickerson that his ‘wife had been ragging his [expletive]’ in reference to a muffler he had recently purchased for his pickup truck. Mr. Nickerson stated this was the reason Michael had given him for shooting his wife.”
Littlefield told Nickerson that after shooting Deborah Littlefield, he laid beside her body and attempted “to get up the nerve to shoot himself,” but couldn’t do it, according to the affidavit.
A criminal history record for Littlefield obtained Monday from the Maine State Bureau of Identification shows he spent 15 days in Waldo County Jail in 1981 after being convicted of theft, and had to pay about $400 in restitution after a 1981 conviction for criminal mischief.
It appeared that Littlefield had no prior violent crime convictions in Maine.
Police said over the weekend that the couple did not seem to have a history of domestic violence.
Deborah Littlefield worked at the Residence at Tall Pines, a Belfast retirement home, where she was very well-liked, according to her shocked and saddened co-workers.
Resident services director Cindy McIntire said Sunday that Deborah Littlefield had loved her children, grandchildren and husband very much, and that the Tall Pines community was “at a horrible loss.”
Michael Littlefield is scheduled to be transferred soon to Kennebec County Jail, a Waldo County corrections official said Monday. The court has appointed Richard L. Hartley of Bangor to be his attorney.
A Harnish hearing will be held Thursday, July 1, at Belfast District Court to determine whether bail should be granted.