State high court rejects manslaughter appeal of Rockport woman

By Stephen Betts | Jul 11, 2019
Photo by: File photo Victoria Scott

The state's high court rejected Tuesday, July 9, the appeal of a 25-year-old Rockport woman serving a 12-year prison sentence for stabbing a man to death in 2017 in the town of Waldo.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued its ruling in the appeal of Victoria Scott. The ruling was not unanimous, however, with one justice saying Scott deserved a new trial.

Scott was convicted in April 2018 in Waldo County Superior Court for manslaughter in the Feb. 8, 2017, stabbing death of Edwin Littlefield Jr. at a residence on Kendall Corner Road in Waldo. Littlefield lived in Belmont. Scott was sentenced by Justice Robert Murray in August 2018 to 16 years in prison with all but 12 years suspended.

The defense had argued before the Law Court April 9 that the prosecutor made false statements to the jurors during his closing argument that were extremely damaging to Scott. They included a statement that a witness testified that Scott had gone into a room to grab something, indicating she had gone in to grab a knife.

The defense also listed other statements that it said were not made by witnesses and which harmed Scott.

The defense had also pointed out that a witness had made reference to Scott's having stabbed someone else, information a judge had earlier ruled could not be presented to the jurors. In addition, a detective had testified that Scott was a competent and composed liar.

The defense had not objected to those statements at the time.

The court ruled those incidents did not rise to the level of mandating a new trial.

Associate Justice Joseph Jabar argued that the actions did call for a new trial.

"I respectfully dissent, because I believe that Scott was denied a fair trial due to the cumulative effect of inadmissible and prejudicial testimony of two witnesses and improper remarks made by the prosecutor during closing argument. Although each of these errors may be harmless when viewed in isolation, the errors, when considered in toto, require reversal of the conviction," Jabar stated.

Scott had maintained that she stabbed Littlefield in self-defense.

The prosecution had maintained that Scott repeatedly stabbed Littlefield in the leg following an argument. Littlefield did not initially realize the severity of his wounds and went back into the residence, where another altercation occurred.

The justices also rejected Scott's claim that the 12-year prison sentence was excessive and had punished her unfairly for not showing remorse because she is on the autism spectrum.

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