Maine’s first domestic violence killer of 2020 was sentenced in the last days of 2021. And from how that went, it’s going to be even more dangerous to be a woman in this state in 2022.

Newport and Maine State Police officers investigate the premises at 16 North St. in Newport on Jan. 10, 2020, after receiving a 911 call. Frederick Allen Jr. had pleaded not guilty to murder for the strangulation killing of his wife, Anielka Allen. Last month, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in prison, all but 12 suspended. He could be released in seven to 7½ years after earning time off for good behavior. Molly Shelly/Morning Sentinel

Frederick Allen Jr., 42, of Newport will likely serve only seven years in prison for the strangulation killing of his wife, Anielka Allen.

The sentence, handed down in Bangor on Dec. 28, as well as the media coverage, echo the playbook of domestic abusers: Minimize the abuse and turn it onto the victim.

Here are the facts: Anielka Allen, 37, was strangled to death by her husband of 20 years. Her body, found in a bathroom of their house, was described as “black and blue,” with no injuries “at all” on Frederick. She was close to graduating from college. Her car was packed for the trip to leave him.

According to news reports, his post-traumatic stress disorder from military service was a factor in the obscenely short jail sentence. (Another supposed factor was his being a first offender. First time his violence came to the attention of authorities, yes. But not a chance that this was his first criminal violence in the two-decade-long marriage. Domestic violence often goes unreported!)

As for the PTSD, why is this touted only in the case of (mostly) men who served in the military?


A few days before Anielka’s death, she reportedly “broke the glass out of a framed family photo, then used a shard of glass to scratch her face out of the photo.” If this is not a depiction of the stress and trauma in a soul-destroying marriage entered into as a 17-year-old, what is?

And by the way where are VA benefits for the countless women veterans of the one-sided war of domestic violence? This war is carried out in what should be the safe zones of our bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. The enemy is someone who purports to love us. And it is a war we do not sign up for.

A daughter of the couple said that half an hour before her mother was discovered dead, her father had her mother in a headlock and she saw in his eyes how “he blacks out when he is pushed to the limit.” (Notice the word “pushed” – domestic abusers are very good at making family members feel they are triggering the abuse).

The perpetrator blacking, or zoning, out is something domestic violence victims mention over and over again as signals to the real-life horror movies that ensue. To my mind, this state is just another way to get and keep control, and evade responsibility. Allen was aware enough during this supposed blackout to tell his daughter to leave the scene, so he could continue on his homicidal path.

Media reports of this case are studded with quotes from his family members that mischaracterize domestic abuse and slur the victim, including “the relationship (emphasis added) was ‘rocky,’ ” and “he never laid a hand on her, but she hit him.”

Making the travesty of justice in this femicide even worse, it was pushed through by a troika of women.


Justice Ann Murray had the power to impose a 30-year prison sentence for his manslaughter conviction. Time served awaiting trial, and probable “time off for good behavior,” nets seven years for killing one’s wife with one’s bare hands. When Allen becomes a free man, he will still only be in his late 40s, so lots of dating time ahead of him.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Brogue, according to news reports, said she is “happy” the case is resolved and respects the judge’s decision.

Caitlyn Smith, Allen’s defense attorney, actually stated, according to news reports: “It’s a tragedy what happened with Anielka, but it’s also a tragedy  what happened with Fred.“

But the prize for the most disgusting statement in the whole saga, and maybe of 2021, goes to the killer himself. And to my mind this statement alone should have given him the seven years of prison time:

Allen told the court he didn’t understand why his wife wanted to leave him. And – wait for it – “I love her with all my heart.”

Comments are not available on this story.