BELFAST, Maine — When a Maine State Police detective told Victoria Scott that Edwin Littlefield, the man she’d stabbed repeatedly in the leg the night before, had died, she let out a series of blood-curdling screams, sobbed hysterically and started hyperventilating.
Inside a Belfast courtroom, as Scott listened Wednesday to the audio recording of the police interview, Scott leaned over and sobbed on the shoulder of one of her defense attorneys, who cradled Scott’s head in her arms.
Scott is on trial for manslaughter in Littlefield’s death. She said she was defending herself on the evening of Feb. 8, 2017, when she stabbed Littlefield. She said Littlefield had pushed her down, and straddled her while hitting and choking her in the driveway of a Waldo home.
Multiple police investigators testified on Wednesday, the third day of Scott’s trial, detailing how they documented the crime scene, collected evidence, and a series of audio recordings of police interviews with Scott.
Scott originally told police during an interview at Waldo County General Hospital, where she’d been taken to get checked out after the fight, that she believed she’d “inserted” the knife into Littlefield two or three times in an effort to get him off her during the scuffle. When police asked her later whether she might have stabbed him more than that, she said, “at most four” times.
Littlefield suffered 11 knife wounds, mostly stabs to his left thigh and calf. Scott’s knife severed two major arteries, and Littlefield bled out before anyone arrived to treat him.
Scott and Littlefield were both friends of the homeowner, Rose Newton, who was recovering from cancer treatment and needed help around the house. Another friend of Newton’s, Josh Dorman, was also staying at the home.
Littlefield had walked to the home to check in on Newton and told her he was upset that Scott and Dorman were there because he felt they were using Newton for rides and to get prescription medications. Scott and Dorman allegedly were listening from a nearby bedroom with the door closed.
Originally, Scott told police she couldn’t hear any of what Littlefield said, and that she went out to smoke because there was tension in the house. Then, she said, Littlefield came out the basement door and she asked him what was wrong and try to smooth things out.
She said Littlefield turned on her, pushed her down so her head hit the bed of the pickup, then cursed at her and insulted her, dragged her by the wrist down the driveway, struck her in the face, pushed her down, straddled her and started choking her.
She said she pulled a knife out of her pocket while they were struggling on the ground, and used it to stab Littlefield in hopes the pain would force him to get off.
Dorman and Newton, however, told police that Scott “ran” or “rushed” out of the house. They believed she wanted to confront Littlefield about what she’d heard.
In later interviews, after police pressed her on the details of her story, Scott said she did leave the house to confront Littlefield about what he’d said, and that she’d heard him call her and Dorman “users” and say he’d like to “smash” Dorman. She said she said something like, “What the hell is your problem,” and Littlefield turned around and rushed at her.
Prosecutors believe Littlefield was leaving when Scott followed him out. After Littlefield pushed Scott down the first time, Scott said she pursued him down the driveway as he was trying to leave again and started arguing with him, and that’s when the fight escalated.
She told police and bystanders repeatedly that she wished she’d “just let him keep hitting her” and “hadn’t tried to defend herself.”
It wasn’t until the morning of Feb. 9, during an interview in a state police Detective Scott Quintero’s car that she learned Littlefield had died.
“I’m so sorry, I’m so f—-ing sorry,” she repeated as she started to calm down after several minutes of screams and sobbing.
Prosecutors and detectives have questioned Scott’s claims about the attack that prompted the stabbing. They argue there was no physical evidence of her hitting her head on the truck tailgate, being choked, punched in the face or kicked in the back and stomach as she claimed.
She did suffer a cut on her thigh, which she said happened during a struggle for control of the knife, before she was able to break away from Littlefield and run back to the house.
Scott’s defense attorneys have argued that Scott’s thick winter coat and Littlefield’s winter gloves could have prevented visible injuries and bruising.
Littlefield tried to enter the home through the basement after the stabbing, but ran into Dorman who pushed Littlefield down because he thought Littlefield was going to choke him. Dorman claims he helped Littlefield to the truck in the driveway and left him there.
Littlefield ultimately bled out in the truck before help arrived.
The trial is expected to wrap up on Friday if it remains on schedule.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.
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