Jury returns guilty verdict in 2017 manslaughter case

Victoria Scott convicted of stabbing death over claims of self-defense
By Ethan Andrews | Apr 27, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews Victoria Scott is escorted from Waldo County Superior Court April 27 after a jury found her guilty of manslaughter for a 2017 stabbing.

Belfast — A Waldo County jury took 2 1/2 hours to return a guilty verdict Friday, closing the week-long manslaughter trial of Victoria Scott of Rockport, who was accused of stabbing a Belmont man to death in 2017.

The trial, which included testimony from more than a dozen witnesses over four days, including Scott herself, centered on events that occurred at a Waldo residence on Feb. 8, 2017.

That night at about 6 p.m., Edwin Littlefield Jr., who would later be stabbed multiple times and bleed to death, arrived at 254 Kendall Corner Road, according to testimony.

In talking to the homeowner, 60-year-old Rose Newton, the 43-year-old Littlefield learned that Scott, who was 24 at the time, and a mutual acquaintance, Josh Dorman, were staying there, at which point he allegedly became upset and left the house.

Scott, who was at the other end of the house with Dorman, went out the back door with a cigarette and walked to the front where, she told jurors, she saw Littlefield leaving.

Scott said she called out to Littlefield and he ran at her, cursing, and pushed her backward, causing her to hit her head on the tailgate of a pickup truck. Scott said she confronted Littlefield, who grabbed her wrist, pulled her down the driveway, away from the house and began to curse and hit her. Scott said he pushed her and they both fell. He got on top of her, put his hands around her throat and threatened to kill her, at which point she stabbed him multiple times in the leg with a pocket knife.

In closing statements, Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber cast doubt on Scott's story, which she retold in at least five interviews with police conducted the night of the incident and in the days after.

Scott was one of just two people to witness what happened in the driveway that night, Macomber said, and as the sole survivor of a deadly encounter, she had every reason to twist her story to one of self-defense.

Macomber told jurors that the physical evidence would have to stand in for the dead man's words.

Scott had claimed she put on a pair of jeans over baggy pajama pants before she went outside that night, but the prosecution said she probably changed into the jeans later. The detail was significant because Scott said in her testimony that she always carried a knife and had pulled it out of her pocket only after Littlefield had hit her repeatedly, thrown her to the ground and was threatening to kill her.

Macomber noted that the pajama pants didn't have pockets. He said Scott didn't just happen to have the knife on her when she was attacked, but went out in what she was wearing at the time and grabbed the knife on the way out the door, expecting to confront Littlefield.

Macomber said the pajamas had a puncture, consistent with a wound to Scott's leg, which she claimed to have received in the scuffle with Littlefield, whereas the jeans had what the prosecutor described as a "slice."

Jurors at one point in their deliberations asked to take the jeans out of their plastic evidence bag to examine them more closely. They were given rubber gloves, at which point Justice Robert Murray offered that they could open other sealed evidence bags for inspection as necessary.

Another key point in the prosecution's case was a fifth stab wound on Littlefield's thigh that didn't match others on his leg.

Littlefield was stabbed five times on the back of his left thigh. Four of those wounds, clustered on the outside rear of his thigh, were made with the knife in one orientation, according to testimony from the state's chief medical examiner earlier this week. The fifth wound was on the inner rear of Littlefield's thigh and had been made with the blade facing the opposite direction, the examiner said.

The cause of the fifth stab wound has remained a mystery through the trial. Scott's team argued it happened later — that Dorman took the pocket knife after Scott returned to the house and confronted Littlefield in the basement as he returned, stabbing him again and sealing his fate.

Macomber called that story a "big red herring" and said the fifth wound was probably the first.

According to prior testimony, Scott confronted Littlefield near the house, shouting "What the f*** is your problem?" Littlefield allegedly said she was the problem, called her a name, pushed her down and walked away. Scott said she got up and pressed him for an answer about the way he acted, at which point Littlefield grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her down the driveway, his violence increasing until she had no choice but to defend herself.

Macomber questioned what would make a man, who was known to be opposed to hurting women, suddenly turn violent. Rather, it was Scott, a self-described "pitbull" who pursued Littlefield in a "drug and alcohol and adrenaline-fueled condition," he said.

"She followed him down the driveway and stabbed him," Macomber said, referring to the fifth stab wound.

Macomber pointed to large amounts of blood on Scott's shirt that night, and said it was unlikely to have come from wounds to Littlefield's thigh as he straddled her. Most likely, he said, was that it came from a cut to Littlefield's scalp, documented in his autopsy, that she inflicted before they fell to the ground.

Scott was believed to have stabbed people on two other occasions before the 2017 incident. Neither of the victims pressed charges, according to court documents, and her attorneys successfully blocked those incidents from being considered in her jury trial.

Defense attorney Steven Peterson told jurors on April 27 that Scott's story had remained consistent throughout her interviews with police and on the witness stand. She had been defending herself from Littlefield, who was known to have been upset before the stabbing, he said.

He later called the verdict the most shocking in his 42 years as an attorney, and said he was surprised that the jury deliberated for such a short time. He said he plans to appeal the verdict.

Friends and family of Edwin Littlefield, many of whom sat through the entirety of the five-day trial, expressed relief at the guilty verdict.

"We've been waiting for this for 14 months," his sister, Bernadette Littlefield,  said.

Felicia Newton, a friend of Littlefield's who attempted to revive him on the night he died and testified on the first day of the trial, said she was looking forward to telling his family members who weren't present at the trial.

"Justice was served," she said.

During the trial, the deceased 207-pound man was painted as a threat to the smaller woman who stabbed him, but his supporters on Friday said there was no way.

"He was a gentle giant," said Bill Magruder, who employed Littlefield off and on for 18 years as a truck driver and helper. "He was gentleman and a hard worker, and I know, factually, he would never hurt a woman."

The prosecutor, Macomber, said he plans to seek a prison term "in excess of 10 years" for Scott, who will be sentenced in June, at a date to be determined.

"Ed Littlefield didn't deserve to die the way he did," Macomber said, "and hopefully Ms. Scott will spend the better part of the next decade behind bars."

As she was led out of the courthouse Friday afternoon, Scott was asked if she wanted to comment. She appeared to say something, but too quietly to be heard by reporters there. She was helped into a Waldo County Sheriff's Office van and transported to Rockland County Jail, where she has been held since violating bail conditions for possessing an unprescribed narcotic.

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