Amy Dugas extradited from Tennessee t...
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#101 Jul 14, 2007
A compelling non-fiction story.
TRAGEDY LEADS TO INJUSTICE
06-14-05
by Trudy W. Schuett
Decades from now, historians will look back in wonder at the early 21st Century and ask how it was that an entire society could, in the span of a single generation, go from honoring the importance of the individual, to relegating the members of an entire group to the status of insignificance.
In recent months, the media has been full of stories featuring a runaway bride, dubious “in-depth reports” on the murders of pregnant women, and the freakish proclivities of a has-been rock star. All of these stories are told in various degrees of hysteria and speculation, with almost no substance of fact in any case to add up to what used to be called “hard news” in the journalism business. One story that gained national attention – almost entirely launched by hired PR guns and powered by Internet chatter, was about nothing more than a family dispute over what to do with a comatose relative.
Meanwhile, in rural Maine a real story took place, and it was ignored by a national media engrossed in the bizarre and superficial. Only a few local news outlets picked up the story, even though it took almost a year to unfold and contained all the elements of hard news with the added aspect of serious human interest. It is a story of grievous miscarriage of justice, with the victim inexplicably tried and convicted on little evidence, save that of the word of the perpetrator. The penalty in this case was death, the sentence carried out before an arrest was even made.
A generation ago, the street in front of the courthouse in Lincoln County would have been jammed with uplink trucks from TV stations, people armed with microphones and tape recorders would have pursued the relatives and friends of both parties. The talk in the diners and bars would be of little else. The District Attorney or other major players may have gained national prominence, and might even be able to consider running for high-level positions in government after the dust settled.
Why did none of these things happen in this case?
Because the crime alleged was that vague and often misunderstood situation that today we label “domestic violence.”
Because the victim was a man.
Here are the facts: On June 4, 2004, Mark and Amy Dugas had an argument. Statements differ as to whether the argument was about Mark’s unpaid child support issues from a past divorce, or that he wanted to dissolve the current marriage. Either way, the argument ended with Mark bleeding to death at a neighbor’s house from a stab wound to the lung sustained from a 12-inch kitchen knife. Later, on the way to the Lincoln County jail, Amy Dugas bit a police officer, in an attempt to leave the vehicle. She was charged with murder and assaulting a police officer. At the trial, Amy was the only witness for her defense, in which she claimed she acted in self-defense. Believing that Mark had suffered no serious injury, she left the house immediately afterward.
On April 9, 2005, she was acquitted of all charges in this case.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#102 Jul 14, 2007
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:
Why this happened is easy to explain, but far less easy to excuse. The jury of eight women and four men was not informed of previous charges brought against Amy for domestic violence from a previous attack on Mark in February 2004, or other pending charges against her, including assault, criminal mischief, assaulting a police officer, and other charges.

The jury, as are most people today, was likely mindful of the highly-publicized data and factoids produced by the domestic violence industry, which are intended to gain attention for the cause of women’s shelter programs. Like most people, the jury was unaware that most of the information provided by these programs is biased against men, often unsupportable by fact, and sometimes based more on a concept of revenge than problem-solving. It is understandable that these good people, without full possession of the facts, could believe that a woman would be afraid for her life in an argument with her husband. The public has been trained to believe that women are always victims, men are always the perpetrators. Perhaps some among the jury believed that Mark Dugas deserved to die for the offense of being a man in an out-of-control situation.

There is no evidence that the prosecution in this case did anything to properly educate the jurors on the actual nature and reality of the instance in which they were expected to pass judgment. It appears that the prosecution was nearly as lax in its pursuit of justice as the defense, who presumed accurately that in this politically-correct society, a woman with two small children need not be held accountable for her actions.

In retrospect, it is clear that Mark Dugas, prior to his final encounter with Amy’s rage, exhibited the stereotypical symptoms of abuse. He was alienated from friends and family, who found themselves in some cases victimized by Amy’s violent, aggressive behavior. Once a cheerful man, engaged with family life, he became distant and unapproachable. As so often happens, his family and friends knew there was something wrong, but could not manage to broach the subject.

Mark Dugas died in a society that spends billions of dollars each year in the cause of domestic violence – billions of dollars spent only for the “deserving.” It has an eerie resonance with the Victorian age, when well-meaning society ladies would step over the bodies of the drug-addicted, lying in the gutter, to give help and aid to those who were simply addicted to something else. The only difference between the deserving, and the undeserving, then as now, is the ability to embrace the correct dogma of the age. No one should ever be expected to embrace the idea that they are somehow less valuable as human beings as anyone else, yet that is the tradition of the women’s shelter culture: Men are the enemy. Men are the cause of domestic violence.

It would be bad enough if the misjudgment in Lincoln County ended there; but with a known abuser set free to live with her small children, there may be no one to protect them. One of the reasons male victims do not often seek help is due to the fact they feel they must stay in the home to protect the children. Once the primary target of abuse is removed from the home, the abuser tends to re-direct her angry outbursts to whomever else is available. One might think that this is not the last time the justice system in the State of Maine will be expected to deal with Amy Dugas.

How many men and children must die before society recognizes domestic violence not by the well-known but inaccurate term “gender violence,” but as a condition that effects both men and women equally? Will historians of the future say this was a society that ignored the needs of the many to promote the agenda of a few?
Thank you Trudy...God Bless You...
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#103 Jul 14, 2007
Contributed by Mark's cousin Stacey's archives...written by Susan Partelow.
A LETTER OF LOVE:
The Mark I Remember
This is a letter and story I have been meaning to write for several months and for one reason or another have not done until now, and hopefully, I am not too late.
I had a friend, a good friend, and his name was Mark Dugas. Mark was someone I came to know because I saw him on a daily basis as a co-worker at a mid-coast landscaping firm. He was a conscientious, dependable and hard worker. He was a good man, with his priorities in the right places. He was a good father, and he took his responsibility to raise his daughter very seriously. He was kind and caring. He was the kind of man that I would have wanted my daughter to marry.
I met Mark when he began working at the landscaping firm where I was employed as accountant/office manager. Mark also ran his own fencing business and at the time the firm was looking for a carpenter/fence installer. Mark learned the landscaping business quickly and within a short time became foreman of his own crew. For those of you who travel Route 1 through Wiscasset, Mark was part of the masonry crew that built the beautiful stone wall just south of the village. I saw Mark daily, Monday to Friday, and he would stop in the office just to say hello and joke. He was not the kind of man that would go with the other crew members for drinks after work. He was not the kind of man that would drink on the job. He did not do drugs. He was on time each morning and when his day was done he went home, to a home he owned and shared with his daughter. He never missed work. When he was not working at the landscaping company, he ran his own small business. He purchased a new truck and was proud of his life and accomplishments.
Mark's daughter lived with him after his divorce. Cindy moved to Ireland and their daughter remained here with Mark. She was the most important thing in his life; his pride and joy. He did not date because his priority was raising his daughter. He worked hard to give her what she wanted and needed. All one had to do was listen to Mark talk to her or about her, and it was obvious just how much he loved her.
Mark was a gentle man. Never once did I see him become involved in arguments or confrontations with any co-workers even though there were times when I could see he wanted to say something. He wasn't violent. Mark was not a fighter. Mark was not a "hot head". He didn't start fights nor did he take part in them. He didn't throw tools or rant or rave if something didn't go his way. He didn't storm off in anger. He just never got involved. He had more important things in his life - a home and a daughter.
If anything, Mark was good-natured. He liked to joke. He liked to pull pranks on others, and just as he could dish it out, he could take it. We had a rivalry to see who could outdo the other or embarrass the other more.
In November of 2001, my husband and I were involved in a very bad car accident. My husband almost died and I received two broken legs. It was many months before we were back on our feet. When we returned home from the hospital, Mark and a co-worker came to our home to help us get settled in. They moved furniture to allow us to live on the first floor of our home. For the next several months, Mark and Joe would call and stop in when they were working in Wiscasset on the wall to see if we needed anything. Other times he would just call to check on us. Mark was a kind and caring man.
In 2001, Mark's ex-wife moved back from Ireland and his daughter went to live with her. Mark began dating, and this is when he met Amy Hutson. Amy was a divorced mother of two, worked as a caregiver and lived in Warren or Waldoboro. Mark fell in love not only with Amy but also with her children. He told me that she was a wonderful person and the right one for him. He took his vacation time and when he returned, he was married to Amy.
continued
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#104 Jul 14, 2007
During all of this Cindy and Mark became involved in a child support lawsuit. Mark did not believe that he should be responsible for child support at this point since he had never asked Cindy for any thing while he raised their daughter. To this day, I am not sure if this was really Mark's opinion or Amy's. He did tell me later that as their marriage progressed, Mark's child support payments became Amy's basis for her to start an argument. I believe at one point Mark told me that Amy was not receiving child support from her ex-husband, and couldn't understand why Mark had to pay his.

I could see that Mark was changing. His laughter decreased, his practical jokes became things of the past, and he didn't talk much to anyone. His co-workers told me they also saw a change in Mark and asked if I knew what was wrong.

I returned to work in April, and shortly after Mark came to my office to tell me that he and Amy were moving to Tennessee. According to Mark, Amy told him the work was better there, he could make more money and they could be happy because he would not have to pay support.(It was my understanding that she had been there during her military service.)

I told him that he was going to be disappointed and would come back to Maine. He put his house on the market, picked up his final paycheck, and moved. That day, I noticed a real change in Mark. He was quiet, uncomfortable, unhappy, and lost, in a sense. The Mark that had become my friend had changed. He didn't smile, and he didn't say good bye.
It wasn't long after that Mark appeared back at Maine Stone. Tennessee didn't work. He couldn't find work that paid well and it didn't solve his and Amy's problems. He didn't talk about much, but when he did talk, there was a hesitation and almost sadness in his voice. His eyes no longer met mine.
I asked him how he and Amy were doing, where they were living and the usual typical conversation of acquaintances not friends. He answered ok, renting a house. I asked if he was ok, and I could tell something was wrong, but he said he was fine. He very seldom stopped in the office, but when he did he was quiet and withdrawn.
Once the state found that he was again employed in Maine and began taking child support payments from his checks, he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.
I never heard from Mark again. It wasn't long after that I read of the abusive situation that existed in his marriage. I read that Amy had been arrested in February 2004 on several charges. I also learned that he had a restraining order against her. She was to attend anger management classes, stop drinking, etc. I was glad to learn that Amy and Mark had split.
In July 2004, during an argument, Amy Dugas plunged a knife four inches into her husband's chest and killed him.
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#105 Jul 14, 2007
continued still...
My husband and I attended Mark's memorial service in Waldoboro. It was confirmed at that service that what I had known in my heart, that my friend, Mark, was an abused husband. I know this is hard for many people to understand, but I did understand, I knew Mark.
I knew the symptoms of abuse because my first husband was an abuser. But I never told anyone, because I feared the repercussions.
I knew Mark's values. I knew his morals. I knew Mark walked away from trouble. I knew Mark would never hit a woman. I knew Mark would more than likely have trouble defending himself against a woman unless he believed his life was in danger. Mark was a slight man, thin, and not very tall in stature, but in my opinion he was a "big" man.
About one year later, Amy Dugas was found not guilty of killing her husband. She was also found not guilty of assaulting a police officer. I sat in that courtroom, and it was the first time I ever saw Amy. I saw a woman who was comparable in height and most likely even heavier than her husband. I listened to the testimony. I watched the jury. I saw and heard the evidence that was presented. I cried for my friend. That jury never heard that Amy had been arrested just five months earlier for her behavior. They never heard of the restraining order and the order for Amy to attend anger management classes. They never heard that Amy had spent time in the military and knew how to handle weapons. They heard the testimony of Amy's son and then they heard Amy's testimony, filled with "I don't remember" and "I don't know." They discounted the testimony of the only eyewitness and they found Amy Dugas not guilty after less than three days of testimony.
I was sad. I was appalled. Most of all, I was angry that my friend's existence had just been erased, almost as though he never lived.
I spoke with members of Mark's family and I heard the stories of how Mark had changed with them also. How he distanced himself from them and more importantly from his daughter. How he cried when he saw her one day and after asking Amy's permission to speak to her, told her he loved her. I knew these were signs of someone who was abused. At the time I could not understand how the verdict could possibly have come back "not guilty." I could not understand how the prosecution could have failed my friend and his family so badly. It weighs heavy on my heart that there was nothing I could do for my friend then.
A few weeks ago, I read in the local paper and saw on the news that Amy's attorney had asked for a change of venue because there was "too much publicity" in Lincoln County to try Amy on the charges from February 2004. She would not receive a fair trial here. He won. Amy will be tried in Portland. She changed her plea to "not guilty" and chose a trial by jury. Amy spoke to the cameras - she wanted to put all of this behind her and move on with her life. What about Mark's life?
If our legal system works the same in this trial as it worked in her murder trial, she will most likely be found not guilty again. Will the jury be allowed to hear the whole story? Will all the evidence be allowed to be presented? Will the prosecution try the case to the very best of their ability? Will Mark's peers on that jury understand that husbands can be the ones abused and not just the abusers?
My question to Amy is this: Do you even feel any remorse for what you have done?
continued, again:
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#106 Jul 14, 2007
I ask that you publish my letter or story, whatever you choose to call it in your newspaper prior to the start of this trial. I would like people to know my friend. I would also like you all to know that my observations are mine alone, the facts are the facts, and the stories that I have been told have come to me directly from the people involved in those incidents.
My knowledge of what is allowed to be heard in court not only comes from Amy Dugas' trial, but from my own experience from my accident. I find it very hard to believe that the court does not allow evidence that shows a person's propensity for the same type of behavior from his/her history.
My hope is that Amy Dugas' trial is handled better in Portland, and although she was acquitted in Lincoln County, somehow, she is not exonerated of all the charges, all the pain, and all the suffering she has caused.
Susan Partelow
Westport Island
- Susan Partelow
Auntie

Syracuse, NY

#107 Jul 15, 2007
To "Husband" - I hope she gets out of jail soon!!
Maybe at the next murder trial she will be convicted.
Auntie

Syracuse, NY

#108 Jul 15, 2007
Husband,
Bet you are scared to live with her. If you chose to do so, all I can tell you is we will be present at her second murder trial. Hopefully, they will convict her!!!
Husband

Hendersonville, TN

#109 Jul 22, 2007
Auntie,
You are an idiot!!!!! That is all I can say about you..
Sarah

AOL

#111 Jul 23, 2007
Hmmmmm, Husband. Who's the idiot? I guess the general consenus would say it's you!
Stacey

Friendship, ME

#112 Jul 23, 2007
Husband, YOU MET YOUR WIFE IN FREAKING JAIL,DONT BE CALLING ANYONE IDIOT FOR GOSH SAKES...LOOK IN THE MIRROR BEFORE CASTING STONES MY DEAR!!!!!!!!!!
Husband

Hendersonville, TN

#113 Jul 23, 2007
Hey Stacey!!

I knew her from a long time ago. I guess you do not read the papers!!
Stacey

Friendship, ME

#114 Jul 23, 2007
Husband husband husband........yes I did hear that you knew her before, and what a romantic story, "you rekindled" your love in JAIL...sorry for the misuse of my words, you didn't actually "meet" her, you "rekindled" your undying love behind bars, again what a great story to tell and hopefully it won't be at a sad gathering. Best of Luck
Helena

Biddeford, ME

#115 Jul 23, 2007
Guess Husband only wants us to read what he wants us to read, according to him the papers are all wrong........hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm what a putz
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#116 Jul 23, 2007
Husband says: QUOTE.
"Husband
United States Reply »
|Flag |#109 Yesterday
Auntie,
You are an idiot!!!!! That is all I can say about you."

It's funny Husband...Brian, that you respond to yourself! If I were in your shoes I would likely do the same...(we co-dependants can make the most insane excuses for our loved ones behaviors.) I really am intrigued to hear the story of how you and amy "met"...years ago...let's hope you get your stories straight...
How about some substance with your posts? I am so willing to hear what you have to say... I have the feeling you are a decent man...likely kind, and wanting to fix those people you love.
Why, Why, Why, did you decide to pick up with amy after all those years...especially after all the blood under her bridge?(I know with your background you must have heard and read stories of her past.)
What made you want to pick up with her after all those years?(I am again thinking the "Prince Charming" syndrome)...I am wondering if it is your kindness, or possibly your lust for her that took over you're common sense.???
Cheese and Rice Brian...think about your family...I don't know who you have...but likely a Mother, Father, brothers and/or/sisters...they love you and don't wanna see you dead.
Quit trying to defend her. Take care of you and yours. Put your energy into those that will give you positive energy back...
good luck. Husband B...
(I truly mean this)
So...How 'bout this love "story of Brian & Amy???" Clue us in...we want to hear...
Ayuh

Portland, ME

#117 Jul 26, 2007
Husband, are you and Amy still together?

If so, please be safe. I know you are well aware of at least some of Amy's history after reading these posts and articles. I hope you make good choices for your and your loved ones sake.
deborah

Biddeford, ME

#118 Jul 29, 2007
Hiya, Ayuh...It would appear that husband and amy are still married, but not together...he is from Maine, but living in in TN. She is in jail in Maine...Augusta I believe. She couldn't stay at the jail in Lincoln County, because of her affiliation with the jail personnel. Her now-husband happened to be a jail guard at the time of her incarceration for a previous arrest last Fall, at the Lincoln County jail.
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#119 Aug 27, 2007
On August 14, 2007 Amy Dugas Bowen Pelletier ADMITTED in the Lincoln County Supreme Court in Maine, to assaulting her then new husband of 3 weeks.(Brian Pelletier, a former Wiscasset County jail corrections officer) in their home in Rockvale TN.

This is her second time violating the probation she received for assaulting her (by then, dead) husband Mark Dugas and a police officer,(after being acquitted of murdering her husband Mark and assaulting a police officer, again in Maine.)

Since she has moved to Rockvale TN., she has changed her name from Dugas to Bowen and now Pelletier and has been charged with 2 assaults. The first in TN. turned into a retired assault charge against her boyfriend William Dimler, in late 2006.(From what I understand "retired" means that if one stays out of legal trouble for 1 year, the charges are dropped??) She was then, arrested for assaulting her new husband Brian Pelletier, in March of 2007.

Here are some articles, and likely you will have to copy and paste...

Here is her admission:

http://www.wcsh6.com :80/video/news/player.aspx?aid =23910&sid=68647&bw=hi

This is the affidavit of her assault on Brian Pelletier where he states that she DID assault him, and was drinking:

http://www.wmtw.com/download/2007/0626/135742 ...

This is Brian's phone interview in a TV news interview, stating that she did NOT drink or assault him.

http://www.wlbz2.com/video/news/player.aspx ...

This is a creepy article where Brian comes to Amy's defense...It is cached from Yahoo, because Villiage Soup needs membership to access their articles:

http://216.109.125.130/search/ cache?ei=UTF-8&p=brian+pel letier+village+soup&fr=yfp target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href=" http://www.villagesoup.com/Community/story.cf... ...

A Portland Press Herald article about the August 14, 2007 hearing:
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php ...

Is it possible that Brian Pelletier commited a crime by changing his statement? And will Amy's "retired" case's be reopened? We are all very curious.
When will this end?
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#120 Aug 27, 2007
This is too weird. I've tried the links on my post to make sure they work. They don't. So give me a bit of time and I will try to post them again...Sorry for the inconvenience...Blessings to all you all...
STAY TUNED :) PLEASE...
Deborah

Biddeford, ME

#121 Aug 27, 2007
Ok...will try this...this is cut and pasted from an article I'd written to a news channel...Hope it works! It will likely need to be copied, cut and pasted...thanks for your patience! Blessings to all.

Here is her admission:

http://www.wcsh6.com :80/video/news/player.aspx?aid =23910&sid=68647&bw=hi &cat=2

This is the affidavit of her assault on Brian Pelletier where he states that she DID assault him, and was drinking:

http://www.wmtw.com/download/2007/0626/135742...

This is Brian's phone interview in a TV news interview, stating that she did NOT drink or assault him.

http://www.wlbz2.com/video/news/player.aspx...

This is a creepy article where Brian comes to Amy's defense...It is cached from Yahoo, because Villiage Soup needs membership to access their articles:

http://216.109.125.130/search/ cache?ei=UTF-8&p=brian+pel letier+village+soup&fr=yfp -t-501&u=www.villagesoup.c om/Community/story.cfm%3Fstory id%3D95957&w=brian+pelleti er+village+soup&d=S7WZXP4- PReB&icp=1&.intl=us

A Portland Press Herald article about the August 14, 2007 hearing:

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php...

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