PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s highest court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a Maine yoga instructor who is serving a 16-year sentence for the beating of her estranged husband with a softball bat and for staging the attack to look like a home invasion.
In a unanimous decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Linda Dolloff’s claims that the prosecutor misrepresented facts and expressed personal opinions and the judge erred in allowing certain statements and evidence during her 2010 trial.
The 51-year-old Dolloff was convicted of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and other charges in the 2009 attack on her husband, Jeffrey Dolloff, as he slept at their Standish home. The prosecution says she then shot herself to make it look like she also was a victim of the attack. The couple at the time had agreed to a divorce and slept in separate bedrooms.
In the opinion written by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, the court found no evidentiary errors on the part of the judge and ruled that any improper statements or phrases made by the prosecutor didn’t result in an unfair trial.
In her appeal, Dolloff argued that the prosecutor acted improperly by making a statement about the weight of the softball bat, commenting about a whimpering dog heard on a 911 call, making statements during her closing argument prefaced with the words “I think,” making comments concerning the credibility of Linda Dolloff and her attorney, and urging the jury to “do justice.”
“Having reviewed all of Linda’s many challenges, we are not persuaded that any prosecutorial misconduct, even considered cumulatively, affected the jury’s verdict,” the opinion said.
During Dolloff’s 15-day trial, prosecutors alleged she attacked her husband in the early morning hours of April 12, 2009, so she could keep the couple’s property and maintain the lifestyle she had grown accustomed to.
Jeffrey Dolloff sustained life-threatening injuries, including multiple skull fractures and a fractured nose, while having several teeth knocked out, according to court documents. He has no memory of the assault and is not expected to fully recover from his injuries.
Linda’s injuries were not life-threatening.
The two were married in 1998.