The husband of a Saco woman who was stabbed to death in a Shaw’s grocery store is appealing a federal court’s dismissal of a civil suit.

Wendy Boudreau, 59, died on Aug. 19, 2015, after being attacked by Connor MacCalister, who stabbed her in the throat in the ice cream aisle in the Shaw’s at Saco Valley Shopping Center.

MacCalister, now 35, pleaded guilty to murdering Boudreau and is serving a life sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.

Wendy Boudreau

The appeal was filed in U.S. District Court in Portland on Friday, according to court records, and forwarded to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on Monday.

Wendy Boudreau’s husband, Jeffrey Boudreau, filed a civil suit in July 2017 against the Massachusetts-based Shaw’s Supermarkets chain, asking for damages for the “the conscious pain and suffering” of Wendy Boudreau between the time she was stabbed at the grocery store and her death at Southern Maine Health Care later that day.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby dismissed the suit on July 19, ruling that Shaw’s personnel could not have known or anticipated the attack.

MacCalister, who has at times identified as a transgender man, is referred to as a female in court documents and is listed as a female in the Department of Corrections online files.

MacCalister told police she was angry with life and had been planning for a month to kill several random people at the Saco grocery store, police said. MacCalister also told police she planned on targeting a small elderly woman who she knew wouldn’t resist.

Jeffrey Boudreau’s attorney, Laura White, a partner at Bergen Parkinson Attorneys in Kennebunk, argued in the civil trial that MacCalister frequented Shaw’s and “Shaw’s acted with reckless disregard and/or indifference to the safety of its customers such as Wendy Boudreau in its failure to properly monitor and secure the store.”

Shaw’s responded in August 2017 through attorney Elizabeth Strouder, saying that Boudreau’s death was caused by a third party, not Shaw’s, and Jeffrey Boudreau failed to state a claim through which relief could be granted.

Before the 2015 murder, MacCalister had been banned from Shaw’s for a year. Customers complained that they were scared of MacCalister, who was seen sitting outside the store smoking cigarette butts from an ashtray with the hood of a sweatshirt covering her face, White said in court documents.

White also said that Shaw’s employees found MacCalister “creepy and strange” and they were uncomfortable around her. MacCalister also had a long history of mental illness and a desire to hurt people, White said. She was well-known to police and had been charged with crimes like terrorizing, aggravated reckless conduct, and a threat of arson on her home, White said.

In his July 19 decision, Hornby stated that Shaw’s had no way of knowing about MacCalister’s mental health or family history or her previous dealings with police.

White previously had said that they would appeal Hornby’s dismissal.

“We believe that a jury should have been allowed to make the foreseeability determination in this case, not the court,” White said in an email this month. “The summary judgment record contained a mountain of evidence about Connor MacCalister’s behavior toward customers and employees of Shaw’s.

“The facts and inferences to be drawn from them made it entirely foreseeable that she posed a threat to customers at the store.”

Liz Gotthelf — 207-780-9015

[email protected]


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