Linda Dolloff, a former yoga instructor from Standish who beat her husband nearly to death with a softball bat in 2009, is asking the governor to commute the remainder of her 16-year prison sentence.

Linda Dolloff Maine Department of Corrections photo

Dolloff, now 58, was convicted of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and false public alarm for beating her husband, Jeffrey Dolloff, with his favorite softball bat on April 12, 2009, in their Standish home. After the assault, Dolloff shot herself in attempt to cover up the crime by making it look like they were both attacked by an intruder.

The case drew national attention and her trial helped build the reputations of the prosecutor, former Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson, and Linda Dolloff’s colorful defense attorney, the late Daniel Lilley.

A petition for a commutation of the remainder of Dolloff’s prison sentence is now pending before Gov. Janet Mills. A hearing has been scheduled for April 9 in front of a clemency panel that advises the governor. Dolloff is asking to be let out of prison early, but has not asked for the suspension of the four years of probation that would follow her release, according to the attorney representing her in the clemency case.

Petitions for executive clemency – whether a pardon or a sentence commutation – go to the Maine Department of Corrections and then the Executive Clemency Board. That board decides whether to grant a public hearing on a petition. The governor receives a recommendation from the board and makes the final decision.

The governor’s office does not comment on anticipated or pending requests for executive clemency, officials said. Mills has pardoned five people since taking office, and it was not clear Thursday whether she has granted any commutations since taking office a year ago.

Petitioners seeking commutation of a sentence must have served at least half of their original sentence. Petitions from prisoners serving a life sentence are not heard by the board.

Linda Dolloff in court during her sentencing hearing in 2011. Press Herald file photo

Dolloff was sentenced in 2011 to 16 years. If the governor does not intervene, Dolloff could be released from prison as early as March 24, 2023, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

Verne Paradie Jr., the attorney representing Dolloff, said his client has done “amazing” during her time in prison. She recently was transferred from the Maine Correctional Center in Windham to the women’s pre-release center and has had no disciplinary issues during her incarceration, he said.

“Linda, by all accounts, is not the typical inmate the prison is used to seeing,” Paradie said.

During her time in prison, Dolloff has taken classes, volunteered as an advocate for other women facing disciplinary action and has become a mentor for younger inmates, Paradie said. She also trained to be a recovery coach for people with substance abuse issues.

“She has glowing recommendation letters from people who work at the prison about her character and her influence on other younger women who are at the prison,” Paradie said. “Further prison time isn’t going to accomplish the objective of rehabilitating her further.

“She doesn’t present a risk to society. She really is prepared to be a good, contributing member of society.”

Jeffrey Dolloff testified against his wife during the trial, but did not attend her sentencing and did not speak publicly about it at the time. Neither Jeffrey Dolloff nor his family members could be reached Thursday to talk about the assault or the petition for a commuted sentence.

Before dawn on Easter morning in 2009, Linda Dolloff called police to say her husband had been attacked in their home by an intruder who then shot her in the abdomen. Jeffrey Dolloff suffered broken bones in his face and skull that left him unconscious and hospitalized for about a month. When he regained consciousness, he did not remember the assault.

The Dolloffs were getting a divorce and Jeffrey Dolloff had told his wife to move out of the home they built together while he brought another woman home to meet his family, according to testimony from the trial.

Linda Dolloff was arrested in June 2009 and convicted by a jury after a dramatic three-week trial. During the trial, she maintained her innocence. Among other out-of-state media attention, the ABC show “20/20”aired an episode about the case after Dolloff’s conviction.

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