A 76-year-old Maine man accused of fatally stabbing a woman in front of her two children outside a laundromat over the weekend was held without bail Wednesday.
No plea was entered for Albert Flick, who authorities say stabbed 48-year-old Kimberly Dobbie in Lewiston, Maine, on Sunday morning. But his lawyer said bail may be sought at a later time for his client, who is being held by the Androscoggin County Jail, according to the Portland Press Herald.
At the request of prosecutors, the judge ordered the affidavit and details of the crime sealed.
While law enforcement officials say the two Maine residents knew each other, they say there is “no indication of a romantic involvement.” Dobbie’s friends and acquaintances say the 76-year-old had been stalking the homeless mother of 11-year-old twin boys, and court records reveal Flick had a history of domestic abuse and assault, including a conviction for the murder of his wife in 1979.
Here’s what we know about Flick, Dobbie, and the investigation that is being conducted by Lewiston and Maine State Police.
Lewiston police received a report of a stabbing just before 11 a.m. Sunday, according to authorities.
Dobbie had just started a load of laundry at Rancourt’s Laundromat in Lewiston when she was attacked, Maine State Police said. She was on the sidewalk in front of the laundromat with her children when Flick allegedly started stabbing her.
According to the Press Herald, Flick was captured by a surveillance camera at a nearby store pacing back and forth several minutes before the assault started. The footage also showed Dobbie’s sons running back and forth between their mother and the laundromat while she was being stabbed.
A bystander witnessing the assault tackled Flick until law enforcement arrived at the scene, according to police. Dobbie was rushed to Central Maine Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Lewiston police said they arrested and charged Flick on Monday afternoon after he was released from the hospital, where he had been treated for chest pains.
An ‘over-the-top nice’ woman
Police said Dobbie and her children had been staying at Hope Haven Gospel Mission, an emergency shelter in Lewiston.
The shelter posted a statement to their website saying staff were “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of her death:
The circumstances are horrific, and two little boys lost their mother in an unimaginable way. We ask the community to pray for Kim’s boys, and for the family she leaves behind as they face the days ahead. Several from the community have asked how they can help the boys, and at this time we are not certain. We will relay any information regarding support for them in an updated post here and on our Facebook page.
Two women who befriended Dobbie at the shelter told the Press Herald the 48-year-old mother was an “over-the-top nice” woman and devoted to her sons.
“She was bubbly, cheerful, always smiling,” Laura Kirkland said. “A perky redhead even when she was frustrated.”
Friends of Kimberly Dobbie (pictured right) tell me she was an amazing mom who loved her 11 year-old twin boys dearly. Ctsy- Kelly Letarte pic.twitter.com/KuIsDWsuQc
— Sam Read (@SamWGME) July 16, 2018
Dobbie moved to Maine after losing her job as a teacher in Massachusetts and came to the Lewiston shelter when she became homeless, according to the Press Herald.
“Her boys were her life,” Kathy Cormier told the newspaper. “To this man (Flick), she never would have been rude or mean. It was not in her nature.”
In the weeks before her death, the mother and her children spent time at the Lewiston Public Library as Dobbie researched the process for getting her own apartment, the Press Herald reports. Librarians told the newspaper the family was often accompanied by Flick.
The women told the Press Herald that Flick had struck up a friendship that lasted about a month with the 48-year-old mother, after offering to buy Dobbie and her sons lunch. But after Dobbie got news that she would be getting into Section 8 housing, the relationship changed.
“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 continued to pursue a relationship with Dobbie and began stalking her, the woman’s friends said. She wasn’t aware that he had been convicted and served a sentence for murdering his wife, they said.
At a vigil held for Dobbie Monday night, Nina Parent told the Press Herald that Flick had made comments that if it weren’t for her sons, they could have had a relationship.
“He kept trying to pursue something with her,” Parent said. “Police need to take it seriously when women say they fear for their life. A simple background check could have saved her life.”
Friends of 48 year-old Kimberly Dobbie are gathering in Lewiston where she was murdered in front of her children. They tell me she was a great mom and an even better friend. pic.twitter.com/Xt8BQetW5G
— Sam Read (@SamWGME) July 17, 2018
‘An extremely violent individual’
Flick, an Auburn resident, had an almost 40-year history of assaulting women, the Press Herald reports.
In January 1979, Flick stabbed his wife, Sandra Flick, to death in their Westbrook apartment, just a few weeks after she served him with divorce papers, according to the Bangor Daily News.
He was sentenced to 30 years, the Press Herald reports, but was released in October 2000.
76 year old Albert Flick is again behind bars after being accused of stabbing a woman to death. He was convicted of murdering his wife in 1979, but released after serving 21 years for good behavior. Now charged with murdering a Lewiston woman outside of laundromat @WGME pic.twitter.com/UKWtGmMobn
— Lexie O'Connor (@LexieWGME) July 18, 2018
He was charged for assaulting different women again in 2008 and 2010, according to the newspaper.
In 2008, he allegedly attacked a girlfriend and then attempted to intimidate her to prevent her from testifying against him. In 2010, a woman told police that Flick struck her in the head with the butt-end of a knife. The judge revoked Flick’s probation from the 2008 assault, sending him back to prison for almost four years. For the 2010 assault, he was given a three-year suspended sentence with one year of probation upon his release.
According to the Press Herald, the prosecutor and Flick’s probation officer urged for a harsher sentence, arguing that despite the man’s age, they did not believe his violent behavior would stop.
“He’s an extremely violent individual when it comes to relationships,” probation officer Troy Thornton said at the time. “He doesn’t appear to have slowed down at this point, and I don’t see him slowing down in the near future.”
Elsie Kimball, the daughter of Sandra Flick from a prior marriage who witnessed her mother’s stabbing, questioned why the 76-year-old was on the street despite his history of violence toward women.
She told WMTW that Dobbie’s 11-year-old sons will have to live with what they witnessed for their entire lives.
“There is no recovery from what they witnessed and the loss they are enduring,” she said. “Al may have wielded the knife, again, but this time there are others who should be held accountable.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.