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The Press Herald, Maine
Saturday, February 12, 2005
By DENNIS HOEY , Portland Press Herald Writer
AUGUSTA Douglas A. Dyer, the Friendship man accused of fatally shooting Allison R. Small in the parking lot of her Rockland business Jan. 28, was ordered held without bail Friday after a hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court. Judge Kirk Studstrup said he denied bail partly out of concerns that the 31-year-old Dyer might try to commit suicide if he were released from the Knox County Jail. Studstrup also said Dyer posed a flight risk because he could face a potential life sentence if convicted.
A Knox County grand jury will meet next month to consider whether there is enough evidence to indict Dyer on murder charges, a crime that carries a sentence of 25 years to life. Jail officials said Dyer is not on suicide watch.
During Friday’s hour-long bail hearing, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson presented evidence regarding a prior suicide attempt by Dyer. Maine State Police Detective David Tripp, the chief investigator assigned to the murder case, said Rockland authorities told him they interrupted a Jan. 7 suicide attempt that resulted in Dyer receiving treatment at Pen Bay Medical Center.
“The deputy found a note with the words ‘I love you’ written about a hundred times on it,” Tripp testified.
Authorities allege that Dyer used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot Small, a 30-year-old mother of two young children, in the back as she was trying to flee Vinalhaven Transportation Inc., a seafood distribution center for the island that she and her husband, Brandon Small, operated at 61 New County Road in Rockland. The Smalls lived on Vinalhaven.
Police said Dyer and Small had been having an affair for about two years. Brandon Small took his wife to their business on the morning of Jan. 28 with the understanding that she would end her relationship with Dyer, who worked for the Smalls as a warehouse worker and truck driver.
Dyer, who showed little emotion at his Jan. 31 arraignment in Rockland District Court, was more emotional Friday. He cried when his attorney, Steven Peterson of Rockport, handed him a crime scene photograph that showed Small’s body lying in the parking lot.
Police said Dyer shot her once inside the business – reportedly in the wrist – and then twice in the back as she ran from the building. She fell near her husband’s van.
Brandon Small told police a fourth bullet from Dyer’s rifle grazed his head as he fled the scene.
Dyer’s parents, Donald and Evelyn Dyer of Friendship, sat quietly in the rear of the courtroom. Dyer was living with his parents at the time of the shooting.
Peterson said the couple will care for Dyer’s 11-year-old daughter. He said his client is not married.
Under questioning by Benson, Tripp provided more details about Dyer’s state of mind after the shooting.
Tripp said Dyer’s only friends were a married couple, Andrew and Christina Campbell, and that Dyer telephoned Andrew Campbell after he fled the scene of the killing.
Tripp said Campbell, who works in Rockland, picked up Dyer and drove him to Waldoboro, where they met Christina Campbell. The trio then drove on “back roads” for some time before taking Dyer to the Waldoboro Police Station, where he turned himself in.
“He told the Campbells that ‘you guys will not be seeing me for a long time,’ ” Tripp testified. “I’ve done something bad, something that was not supposed to happen.”
During an interview later that evening, Tripp said, Dyer told him that he went to the business that morning to commit suicide but could not bring himself to do it because of the impact it would have on his daughter.
“He told us that he knew what he had done was wrong and that he wanted to be held accountable for his actions even if that meant spending the rest of his life in prison,” Tripp said.
Benson asked the judge to deny Dyer’s request for bail, saying that Dyer is depressed and unstable. He argued that Dyer not only killed Small but also tried to shoot her husband.
Benson said Dyer took the rifle with him that day, an indication that he intended to kill Small because he realized she wanted to end their relationship.
“He has been charged with murder. I think he knows exactly what is at stake – 25 years to life in prison,” Benson said.
During the hearing, Peterson said his client was taking Zoloft, an anti-depressant medication, along with sleeping pills, around the time of the shooting.
Benson and Peterson agreed that Dyer will undergo a psychological examination before going to trial.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 725-8795 or at: email@example.com
Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
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Bid to overturn murder conviction denied — (Bangor Daily News)
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 04, 2010, at 7:04 p.m.
ROCKLAND, Maine — A Superior Court Justice denied a convicted murderer’s petition to overturn his conviction earlier this week.
Douglas A. Dyer of Friendship was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2006 for killing his lover, Allison Small.
Dyer attended his post-conviction review from prison by videoconference on Jan. 29 and said that his attorney Steven Peterson had not defended him well enough.
On Feb. 2, Knox County Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton wrote that Dyer had “failed to meet his burden to prove ineffective assistance of counsel that operated to deprive him of a substantial ground of defense or otherwise affected the outcome of the trial.”
Dyer claimed Peterson could have better represented him if Peterson had hired an independent ballistics and crime reconstruction expert. Dyer also said Peterson did not get an independent autopsy, which could have helped his case, and that Peterson did not cross-examine the medical examiner thoroughly.
Dyer also claimed Peterson did not explore expert evidence regarding the antidepressant medication Dyer was on at the time of the crime. Dyer’s last claim was that Peterson did not argue sufficiently.
In 2006, Dyer was having an affair with Small, who owned the business where Dyer worked. Small told Dyer in January 2005 that she was ending their relationship. Dyer asked Small to see him, and the 30-year-old woman agreed to meet him at her and her husband’s Rockland business office. When Dyer arrived, he shot the woman with his rifle several times, including twice in the back as she ran from him. Small died at the scene.
According to Dyer’s current attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker, Dyer’s current claims were part of “his bid to get a new trial.” His client appealed the sentence in 2007, and his appeal was denied.
“He was convicted, and he didn’t like that result,” Toothaker said in a phone interview.
Toothaker said his client has been assigned “several attorneys” in the past few years.