LEWISTON — Kimberly Dobbie was days away from moving out of a shelter and into an apartment when she was stabbed to death Sunday, her friends say.

Dobbie was upset because Albert Flick, the man charged with murder in her slaying, would not leave her alone, the friends said on Monday.

On Saturday night, in a bedroom of the Hope Haven Gospel Mission, Kathy Cormier offered Dobbie her encouragement.

“I told her: ‘Just hang in there. You’ll be gone in two or three days,'” Cormier said.

Dobbie, 48, was killed the next morning in front of her 11-year-old twin boys.

“We can’t classify this as domestic; it’s stalking,” Cormier said. “This was never a romance. Never. It’s stalking by a nutso man. There’s a pattern to this. … He was following her everywhere, from morning to night, no matter where she went.”

Flick had struck up a friendship with Dobbie, but she became uncomfortable with his attention and perceived an animosity toward her boys when she began making plans to move to the apartment in Jay, her friends said. She didn’t know he’d been convicted of murder for killing his wife in 1979.

It was obvious to Flick that Dobbie did not want him near her, Cormier said, “because he followed her at a distance.”

During an interview Monday at the Lewiston Public Library, where the three friends spent much of their time, Cormier and Laura Kirkland said they met Dobbie in May when the three moved into the shelter.

Dobbie lost her job as a teacher in Massachusetts and moved to the Farmington area because she wanted to live in a small town, her friends said. Finding herself homeless, she came to the Lewiston shelter, where she thought she would be safe, they said.

They described Dobbie as “over-the-top nice,” a woman who had a string of bad luck, a devoted mother.

“She was bubbly, cheerful, always smiling,” Kirkland said. “A perky redhead even when she was frustrated.”

Cormier said she will remember Dobbie’s smile forever.

“Her boys were her life,” Cormier said through tears. “To this man (Flick), she never would have been rude or mean. It was not in her nature.”

She did tell him to leave her and her boys alone, Cormier said.

Flick did not stay at the shelter, but used to go there to eat, Kirkland and Cormier said.

Dobbie did not have much money, relying on limited Social Security benefits she received because one of her sons has autism. Her food stamps had been cut because she was staying at a shelter, her friends said.

The friendship between Dobbie and Flick started when he offered to buy her and her sons lunch, and lasted about a month. The relationship changed after Dobbie’s “Section 8 came through,” Cormier said.

Cormier ran into Dobbie, her sons and Flick at Walmart soon after she had received news of getting the apartment. The conversation turned to moving back to the Farmington area, where the twins went to school.

“Albert started talking about getting a truck,” Cormier said.

Cormier was puzzled because she said Dobbie’s possessions were already at a church in Farmington. She said to Flick, “All you need is a little U-Haul.”

He insisted his stuff was to be moved, too.

“He said, ‘We have a lot of stuff coming from Lewiston,’ ” Cormier said. “Kim was looking at me. She wasn’t saying anything.”

That night, Cormier told Kirkland that Flick was planning to move with Dobbie, even though she did not want that.

“Probably a week later, she told him he was not coming with her, she didn’t need his help and she didn’t want that kind of relationship,” Cormier said.

Flick pursued Dobbie even harder, Cormier and Kirkland said. He started buying her clothes. She gave them back.

“Her mother came and said: ‘This man’s creepy. You’ve got to get rid of him,’ ” Cormier said.

Flick also was upsetting the boys, Cormier said.

“He said if she didn’t have the boys, they could have a relationship,” Cormier said.

Dobbie kept telling Flick to leave her alone, her friends said, but none of them knew that Flick had spent 30 years in prison for murdering his wife in 1979.

On Sunday morning, Flick was running late, Cormier said.

“He came right into the shelter to see if she was there,” Cormier said. “They had already left. Somewhere he caught up with them at Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street. He followed them down to Rancourt’s laundry.”

In a video of the street from a store nearby, Flick can be seen walking back and forth in front of the laundry for 10 minutes. At times, he peered into the window.

Cormier said when Dobbie came out of the laundromat, she sat down on the steps and was talking to a friend in Massachusetts on her cellphone when Flick began stabbing her.

“She was sitting down and couldn’t get away from him,” Cormier said. “The man on the phone with her heard her scream. That was it.”

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