Auburn man who murdered wife in 1979 charged with fatal Lewiston stabbing

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In this surveillance video from a store on Sabattus Street, Albert Flick paces back and forth on the sidewalk moments before Kimberly Dobbie was stabbed to death Sunday morning in Lewiston. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — Police have charged 76-year-old Albert Flick with murder in connection with the stabbing death of Kimberly Dobbie on Sunday morning in Lewiston.

Albert Flick (Androscoggin County Jail photo)

Flick was convicted of killing his wife in 1979, also by stabbing. He was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison and was released Oct. 6, 2000.

According to the Department of Corrections, after his 2000 release Flick was in and out of custody and probation supervision with charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, tampering with a witness, violating condition of release and assault. His last release from prison was Jan. 28, 2016.

On Sunday, Dobbie was stabbed outside Rancourt’s Laundromat on Sabattus Street at 11 a.m. when she stepped outside the building. She had been at the laundromat with her children, 11-year-old twins, who watched as passersby pulled Flick off their mother and held him down until police arrived.

Kimberly Dobbie, background, looks on as her son, not in the photo, checks out a baby lobster at the Lewiston Public Library last Wednesday afternoon during an LPL Kids presentation of Ocean Touch Tank (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Dobbie, who was 48 years old, had been living with her sons at Hope Haven Gospel Mission on Lincoln Street.

Flick and Dobbie knew each other, but according to a statement issued by the Maine State Police, there is no indication of romantic involvement.

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According to police, Dobbie had just started a load of laundry when she stepped outside the building. Surveillance video shot from a nearby store shows Dobbie walking past that store and then Flick pacing back and forth for several minutes just before the assault.

A small memorial of flowers and mementos have sprung up where Kimberly Dobbie was stabbed on Sunday morning on Sabattus Street in Lewiston. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The video also shows Dobbie’s boys running back and forth on the sidewalk during the attack, and then watching as several men pulled Flick away from Dobbie and tackled him to the sidewalk.

Flick was treated for chest pains at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston following the assault, and was arrested after his release. He is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Androscoggin County Criminal Court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Albert L. Flick, left, heads for Portland District Court on Feb. 1, 1979, for arraignment on a charge of killing his wife, Sandra, the day before in Westbrook. (Portland Press Herald file photo)

In 1979, Flick killed his wife, Sandra Flick, by stabbing and was later convicted of murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

According to court records, Sandra Flick served her husband with divorce papers Jan. 10, 1979, and had him physically escorted from their apartment by police. In the weeks following, they argued frequently, often about custody of their two young boys.

On Jan. 29, Sandra Flick, who was 35 years old, asked her husband to come to her apartment on Brown Street in Westbrook to remove his belongings. He had a gun and knife with him when he parked his car about three-quarters of a mile from the apartment, and took the knife with him to the apartment.

According to court records, Sandra Flick’s daughter from a previous marriage was home and hiding in a back bedroom when Flick arrived. She watched through a crack in the door as Flick showed his wife how to use the knife to remove fishing hooks from lines.

Then, according to court records, when Sandra Flick bent over one of the poles in the living room, Flick “seized her arm and bent it behind her back, putting his other hand over her mouth. He pushed her into a chair, saying that he loved her and didn’t want to have to hurt her.”

When Sandra Flick screamed, her daughter ran out of the bedroom and saw Flick “sitting on her mother on the chair.” She heard him say, “Now you’ve had it,” and the girl ran to an apartment downstairs.

A neighbor there called police and, as her husband was going upstairs to the Flick apartment, he “met Flick coming down the stairs with blood on his hands and blood stains on his pants,” according to court records.

Flick asked the man to get help, “claiming he that he didn’t mean to do it.”

When the neighbor went into the apartment, he found Sandra Flick “covered with blood, cut in the throat, but still alive,” according to court records.

Sandra Flick told the neighbor her husband had stabbed her. Police later found her husband’s 3 1/2-inch jackknife in the living room.

She later died from loss of blood from 14 stab wounds to her neck and chest, including one through her heart.

Albert L. Flick, left, heads for Portland District Court on Feb. 1, 1979, for arraignment on a charge of killing his wife, Sandra, the day before in Westbrook. (Portland Press Herald file photo)

During his trial, Flick testified he and his wife had been bickering in the living room. He said that when his wife asked her daughter to go downstairs, Sandra picked up the knife and threatened to kill him. At that point, he said he grabbed her arm and the two fell. He ended up on top of her and, when he realized she was injured, he left the apartment to get help.

The year after his murder conviction, Flick appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, questioning pre-trial procedures, admissibility and sufficiency of the state’s evidence and instructions to the jury, but the court found no errors at trial and upheld the conviction.

At the time of his conviction, Flick’s lawyer said his client had served in the U.S. Army and had received a hardship discharge. At the time of the murder, Flick had worked as a doughnut maker at the same company for 19 years.

During the sentencing phase of trial, Flick’s family testified he was a good man who had grown up in an atmosphere of violence, arguing for a minimum sentence. Justice Harry P. Glassman said the crime was a “particularly brutal killing. I have rarely seen as much blood (as was described by state’s witnesses) in this courtroom,” according to Portland Press Herald archives of trial coverage.

Glassman also noted that while Flick had been a law-abiding citizen for his 36 years, “that the pressures that Flick faced leading up to the murder were the same that many other persons being divorced face without resorting to physical violence.”

Flick, whose most recent address listed with the Maine Bureau of Identification was on Pine Street in Lewiston, appears to have been released from prison in 2007, after having served out his sentence on the murder conviction, settling on Bramhall Street in Portland.

On June 2, 2007, he was arrested in Portland and charged with misdemeanor assault involving domestic violence. Additional charges of criminal threatening, felony assault and aggravated assault were later added, but the aggravated assault charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Two months later, he was charged with tampering with a witness and violating conditions of release.

He was later sentenced to serve six months in jail on the June charge.

On the charge lodged in August, his probation was partially revoked and he was sentenced to two years in prison, beginning in March 2008.

After his release in 2010, Flick was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and assault, once again in Portland, and was sentenced to two years in prison.

And in 2014, he was charged in Portland with criminal threatening, but that charge was dismissed as part of a deal in which he pleaded to a lesser charge.

He moved to Lewiston in June 2014, about the time the last case was being prosecuted.

In 2016, the Sun Journal photographed Flick working in the community garden at the corner of Pine and Howe streets, one of the Lots to Gardens projects of St. Mary’s Health System.

At the time, he said he grew up on a farm in Portland and had “jumped at the chance to once again grow tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and cabbage.”

The stabbing is being investigated by Lewiston and state police.

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