Albert Flick leaves the courtroom in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn on Friday morning, convicted to life in prison for the fatal stabbing of Kimberly Dobbie in Lewiston last year.  Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Seventy-seven-year-old Albert Flick was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of Kimberly Dobbie in Lewiston last summer.

Dobbie, who was 48 years old, was stabbed to death in front of her twin boys.

This is the second time Flick will go to prison for murder, the first time was in 1979 when he was convicted in the stabbing death of his wife, Sandra Flick, at their Westbrook home. In that case, he was sentenced to serve 30 years and was released in 2000.

On July 17, an Androscoggin County Superior Court jury convicted Flick of murder after just 40 minutes of deliberation. The trial, which lasted less than two days, included testimony from witnesses who said Flick had become obsessed with Dobbie. He had followed her and her 11-year-old sons routinely from where they were staying at the Hope Haven Gospel Mission shelter in Lewiston to the local library, Dunkin’ and even the bus stop.

According to her friends, Dobbie appeared to tolerate Flick’s attention and presence but didn’t want it.

Dobbie and her children had been living at the shelter while waiting for an apartment in Farmington where they planned to move. She met Flick at the shelter, where he often went for food, and he started following her and her boys around town.

Just before her murder, an apartment became available, and she was making plans to move. According to Dobbie’s friends, Flick assumed he was going with her, but she told him he wasn’t welcome.

In his closing arguments at trial, Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis told the jury that Flick’s infatuation led to his thinking: “If I can’t have Kim Dobbie, I will kill her.” And, Ellis added, “That’s exactly what he did.”

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, wearing a blue prison-issue uniform, Flick sat hunched over in his chair in Androscoggin County Superior Court, wearing headphones to hear what was being said. With legs and hands chained, he had no reaction when Justice MaryGay Kennedy sentenced him to life in prison for what she called a “despicable” attack on Dobbie. Made more so, she said, because he knew he was stabbing her while her children watched.

“Mr. Flick, you have not taken responsibility. You have shown no remorse,” Kennedy said, even though it was very clear to him during the attack that “Ms. Dobbie knew she was going to die. She knew she was going to die in front of her boys” because of the massive injuries to her body, including stab wounds to her heart and liver.

In making her sentencing decision, Kennedy said she factored in Flick’s premeditation, what she called his “savage” attack, and his prior violent convictions. What is “almost incomprehensible is that Mr. Flick has done this before,” she said.

When Kennedy asked Flick whether he wanted to say anything to the court, he shook his head and said, “Nah.”

During the July trial, the jury watched surveillance video of Flick buying two pink-handled paring knives with 5-inch blades at the local Walmart two days before he attacked Dobbie and then watched a video that showed Flick stabbing Dobbie at least 11 times in front of her sons as she sat on the steps outside a Sabattus Street laundromat.

Before the stabbing, Flick could be seen pacing inside the building and outside, always keeping Dobbie in his line of sight. When Dobbie sat outside to talk on her phone, Flick attacked her.

Flick could be seen on the laundromat’s surveillance video as he “reaches back to the small of his back, takes out the knife, stands in front of Kim, raises his arm,” Ellis told the jury.

A witness who watched the scene unfold from his apartment window said Flick grabbed Dobbie with his left hand before stabbing her, as she screamed and kicked.

Dobbie’s friends Laura Kirkland and Kathy Cormier told the Sun Journal that Dobbie had been a teacher in Massachusetts and moved to the Farmington area after she lost her job because she wanted to live in a small town. Finding herself homeless in Farmington, she went to the Lewiston shelter where she thought she would be safe, they said, always planning to move back to Farmington when she was able.

They described Dobbie as “over-the-top nice,” and a devoted mother.

“She was bubbly, cheerful, always smiling,” Kirkland said. “A perky redhead even when she was frustrated.”

Kirkland and Cormier both attended the sentencing, and Kirkland opted to offer an impact statement to the court.

“Kim Dobbie’s murder was preventable,” Kirkland said, had people around Flick known he was violent. She pointed to other states that maintain databases of violent offenders, which Maine does not. She said Maine needs to do that, to protect people.

Dobbie’s friend Lori Moreau was more blunt.

“Mr. Flick is a monster,” she said, who “left two young boys without their amazing mom.”

She talked about Dobbie’s cheerful disposition and ready smile, and her untiring efforts to be a good mom. Flick “shattered their entire world,” Moreau said of the twins, and, “I hope he rots in hell.”

Susan Dobbie, Kimberly’s mother who lives in Massachusetts, is in the process of adopting the twins, and Christopher Dobbie, Kimberly’s brother, is selling his home and moving to Massachusetts to help with their care.

The court’s victim advocate read a statement written by Susan Dobbie to the court.

The boys “witnessed an act so awful and unforgettable,” she wrote, that their lives will never be the same. The mother wrote that her daughter had “a smile like sunshine,” and that in her absence she and Christopher Dobbie will provide a home for the boys, including “the education and stability they so desperately need.”

Ellis, the prosecutor, also focused on the twins in making his case for a life sentence.

Flick’s intent to kill was premeditated and “he proceeded to butcher her” in front of the children, he said. “The impact on these two boys is beyond description.”

On the laundromat surveillance, Ellis said Flick could be seen pausing briefly after the attack began, looking back at the boys, and turning back to continue stabbing their mother.

“He wasn’t trying to get away with anything. He wanted to murder her,” Ellis said.

Ellis reviewed Flick’s prior criminal convictions, including an incident in 2010 when he beat a woman with the handle of a knife, and said, “His life has been replete with attacking women. We’ll never figure out what is wrong with Mr. Flick.”

He is, Ellis said, “an amoral human being and should be locked up for the rest of his life.”

In the time between Flick’s two murder convictions, he was convicted several times for assaulting women.

On June 2, 2007, Flick 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. He was sentenced to serve six months.

Two months later, he was charged with tampering with a witness and violating conditions of release. 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 with a knife, 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 that last case was being prosecuted.

Flick’s attorney, Allan Lobozzo, had argued Friday for a 25-year prison term, citing Flick’s declining health and his history as a child growing up in a large family with an abusive father. Lobozzo acknowledged that 25 years would certainly be a life sentence for the elderly Flick, but asked the court to consider that he’d had no substance abuse issues and was gainfully employed for most of his life.

In delivering the sentence, while looking directly at Dobbie’s friends in the courtroom, Kennedy said, “There is simply no way for us to understand the grief that her family and friends have suffered” because of Flick’s crime, which took away a woman who clearly was a “loving and protective mother to her boys.”

But, she said, “I hope that the pall cast by this despicable event will pass” and Dobbie’s friends and family will focus on her goodness.


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