Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the relationship of Felicia and Rose Newton — the two are niece and aunt, respectively.

In the snowy driveway of a home on Kendall Corner Road Feb. 6, 2017, Victoria Scott stabbed 43-year-old Edwin Littlefield multiple times, causing injuries from which he would later bleed to death. But was it out of vengeance or self defense? And what role did drugs and alcohol play in the events of that night?

Those were the larger questions facing a Waldo County jury in the first days of the Rockport woman's trial for manslaughter, which started April 23.

The details of the case have been mostly unknown over the past year. Assistant Attorney General John Alsop in his opening statement Monday told the jury of 10 women and five men that many of those details would never be known. Whatever happened between Scott, then 24, and Littlefield in the minutes before his death was not captured on camera, Alsop said, and Littlefield could no longer give his side of the story.

The difficulty in finding the truth later would be compounded by diverging accounts from witnesses at the trial, one of whom claimed memory problems from cancer treatments, another of whom admitted to shooting up prescription painkillers that day and later lying to police.

Despite these complications, Alsop, who along with Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber is representing the state, said he believes the state can meet the burden of proof to convict Scott for manslaughter, which he defined as causing a death through criminal intent or recklessness.

In opening arguments, both sides agreed on the circumstances leading up to the stabbing, and that Scott indeed stabbed Littlefield with a pocket knife she carried. But they painted different pictures of the minutes before and after the stabbing occurred.

The state brought three witnesses in April 23 — Felicia Newton, who saw Littlefield the afternoon before he died and later was the first to attempt to revive him; her aunt Rose Newton, at whose home the events occurred; and Detective Sgt. Merl Reed of Waldo County Sheriff's Office, the first police officer at the scene.

Felicia Newton said Littlefield was visiting her the afternoon before he died. At her house, he drank two 16-oz. bottles of beer, or "pounders," and complained that Victoria Scott and a friend, Joshua Dorman, were staying with Felicia Newton's aunt Rose Newton, who lived nearby, and that Scott and Dorman were taking advantage of the infirm woman.

Rose Newton told prosecutors on Monday that Littlefield stayed with her from time to time and helped with chores. She told the court she had been through a bout with cancer and that Littlefield sometimes walked her dog and brought in rainwater from a roof collector because her well had run dry. Sometimes he crashed at her house, she said.

After drinking the two beers at Felicia Newton's, Littlefield walked to Rose Newton's house, let himself in — Rose Newton would testify that it was with a key that she had given him — and spoke to Rose Newton in her bedroom. There he bad-mouthed Scott and Dorman, who were in the house at the time and within earshot. Various accounts had him calling Scott a "slut" and "junkie," and threatening Dorman.

Littlefield then left the house, according to Rose Newton, saying he didn't want to see the other two.

The prosecution and defense offered different versions of the events that followed.

Alsop described Scott storming out of the house on Littlefield's heels, confronting him "inebriated and irate"; at the hospital that night her blood alcohol content was measured at 0.126, or close to twice the legal driving limit. There was a struggle, and Scott stabbed him.

Alsop said Scott returned to the house and got Dorman, who was headed outside through the basement when he encountered a bloodied Littlefield coming through the door. Dorman would later testify that Littlefield came at him and he threw Littlefield to the ground, then helped him outside where Littlefield got into a truck and was seen several minutes later sitting up in the front seat texting.

At some point, Rose Newton called Felicia Newton, who came to the house with her father. Felicia Newton told attorneys on Monday that she saw blood in the snow on the driveway and noticed a pickup parked in front of the house with one door ajar. When she got out, she saw a leg sticking out of the truck and found Littlefield there, bloodied and unresponsive, his eyes rolled back in his head. From her limited medical training, she surmised that he was dead, but she attempted CPR until police arrived.

Despite the lack of an eyewitness, Alsop said it was clear that Scott pursued Littlefield. He noted that, though she described being pushed down, her head hitting the bumper of the truck, then being dragged down the driveway by Littlefield, straddled by him, hit in the face and choked, a medical examination of her that night showed no signs of trauma.

"It is he who is the one who defended himself," Alsop said.

Scott's attorney, Steven Peterson, described a different sequence of events.

Scott did not rush after Littlefield, he said, but went outside to smoke, then approached Littlefield to talk.

Peterson said Littlefield was mad at Scott and Dorman, not because they were taking advantage of Rose Newton, but because it meant that he couldn't. Peterson said Littlefield had already been caught once stealing prescription drugs from Newton and probably wanted to stay with her so he could filch more of them.

Dorman would admit in the second day of the trial that he bought prescription painkillers from Rose Newton and shot them up the day Littlefield died.

Rose Newton, in her testimony Monday, said that she is prescribed the stimulant Ritalin and painkillers. She made no mention of selling her drugs but said she trusted the younger people who came and went from her home.

Newton appeared to cause some consternation to prosecutors when she was unable to recall certain interactions with people that day. Peterson, in his cross examination, pointed out major differences between her statements to police on the night of the stabbing and her recollection of those events Monday. He asked her if she thought her memory was weakened by her cancer, to which she acknowledged it probably was.

Peterson went on to describe what happened outside when Scott approached Littlefield to talk. The conversation escalated, he said; Littlefield pushed Scott away, causing her to fall and hit her head on the bumper of the truck in which Littlefield would later be found dead.

Littlefield then grabbed Scott's wrist, dragged her down the driveway, away from the house, and held her on the ground. There he straddled her, hitting her in the face with gloved hands. Peterson said Littlefield put his hands around Scott's neck and said he was going to kill her, at which point, Scott drew a pocket knife, which opened by means of a button, and stabbed him in the leg multiple times.

Peterson said a struggle ensued, during which Littlefield wrested the knife away from Scott and stabbed her in the leg before she could get out from under him. Scott ran back to the house where she met Dorman and called for help.

Here, Peterson's version of events diverged not only from the story laid out by prosecutors but from a pure account of self-defense.

Peterson said Littlefield came back to the house to continue his attack. He met Dorman in the basement and there was an altercation between the two during which Dorman threw Littlefield to the ground twice, corresponding to two large blood stains found on the basement floor — Dorman would say he threw Littlefield down once — ultimately hastening Littlefield's death.

When Dorman testified on Tuesday, Peterson focused on lies he had told to police in the days after the incident. Dorman, who acknowledged a number of lies, said he was trying to protect Scott.

Dorman made a deal with prosecutors to testify. In exchange for his testimony, attorneys agreed not to prosecute him for his admitted drug use or his part in speeding Littlefield's blood loss — he cannot be charged with manslaughter.

 

Scott was described by Felicia Newton and Waldo County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Merl Reed as crying when police arrived, smoking, and at one point having a seizure, which caused her to writhe on the ground. She would have another seizure at the hospital, according to Dr. Walter Doerfler, who cared for her that night and was called as a witness by the state.

Jurors were brought by bus to 254 Kendall Corner Road where they walked the property with Jusice Robert Murray, attorneys and Scott.

Dr. Mark Flomenbaum chief medical examiner, testified April 24 that Littlefield had seven stab wounds, two cuts and a laceration caused by blunt impact. Flomenbaum said the stab wounds — those that are deeper than they are wide — were 1.75 to 2 inches deep. Four of the wounds in the thigh had similar shape and direction as though they had been made in quick succession, he said. A fifth puncture on the thigh had the opposite profile, he said, suggesting a later attack, possibly with the opposite hand.

Two of the stab wounds to the thigh and one to the calf penetrated into the muscle and severed major arteries, which caused Littlefield to bleed to death. Under questioning from the defense, Flomenbaum said the injuries, though life-threatening, were not automatically fatal, and Littlefield might have survived with immediate treatment.

Dr. Doerfler described Scott's condition at the hospital that night and a number of tests performed on her, including three CT scans, based on her description of what happened. Apart from a laceration on her thigh that needed seven stitches, Doerfler said he did not find evidence of internal or external injuries.

A blood test at the hospital showed THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana, and Tramadol, a prescription narcotic painkiller, in Scott's blood. Doerfler described her seizure as a "provoked" seizure, meaning it was caused by an event.

In her intake interview, Scott described poking herself in the wrist with a safety pin to relieve stress, Doerfler said. He added that her medical records showed she had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which Scott's attorneys suggested would cause her to react poorly to being touched.

The trial was scheduled to continue Wednesday, April 25 at 8:30 a.m.