A 77-year-old Maine man deemed by a judge to be too old to be a threat has been convicted of stabbing a mother to death in front of her twin sons.
Forty years earlier, Albert Flick murdered his wife in much the same way — he stabbed her 14 times in front of her daughter.
Flick was found guilty of murder Wednesday, after jurors deliberated for less than a hour. He attacked Kimberly Dobbie in broad daylight last year as she talked on her cellphone outside a laundromat. Her 11-year-old boys were nearby, witnesses said.
The elderly man was obsessed with the 48-year-old woman, who had lost her teaching job and was temporarily homeless, her friends said. He followed her everywhere she went and repeatedly came to the shelter where she stayed, the Sun Journal reported.
She was a devoted mother who was down on her luck, but she was two days away from moving her family into an apartment when Flick killed her. "He was following her everywhere, from morning to night, no matter where she went," her friend, Kathy Cormier, told the paper.
Jurors at Flick's two-day trial saw surveillance video that captured Flick stabbing the mother at least 11 times. They also saw video of him buying two pink knives with 5-inch blades at a local Walmart two days before, the paper reported.
"The obsession became, 'If I can't have her, I will kill her,' and that's exactly what he did," said Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis during closing arguments.
In her obituary, Dobbie was described as a kind and gentle spirit with a ready smile, who loved her sons more than life. The boys, now 12, were inside the laundromat, and saw their mother being murdered, police said. They are now in the custody of their maternal grandmother.
Dobbie bled to death after one of the knife thrusts pierced her heart. She also suffered a punctured lung, her autopsy showed.
Flick has a long history of attacking women.
In 1979, he stabbed to death his wife, Sandra Flick, after she served him with divorce papers. Her 12-year-old daughter was hiding behind a door.
"I remember my mother screaming my name and me running out the door," Sandra's daughter, Elsie Kimball, told News Center Maine after Dobbie's murder.
Flick served 25 years in prison for murdering his wife. He was released early on good behavior. He was convicted of assaulting two other women in 2010, but Maine Superior Court Justice Robert Crowley rejected the recommendations of prosecutors to sentence Flick to eight or nine years.
Instead, Flick was sentenced to four years. "At some point, Mr. Flick is going to age out of his capacity to engage in this conduct, and incarcerating him beyond the time that he ages out doesn't seem to me to make good sense from a criminological or fiscal perspective," the judge said, NBC reported.
"I don’t understand how somebody that is obviously such a threat to society was back on the streets," Kimball said. "I don’t understand. I can’t for the life of me wrap my head around it. I can’t."
Flick's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9. He faces 25 years to life in prison.