ELYRIA — Attorneys for former Lorain County corrections Officer William Dembie Jr., who is accused of murdering his wife, Holly, last year, filed court documents Friday alleging that Holly Dembie was “actively involved in an adulterous affair with a married male companion.”
The documents stated that Holly Dembie repeatedly told her best friend “that she was not afraid of defendant and would engage him in physical fights.”
Defense witnesses at Dembie’s trial will include an expert on battered-spouse syndrome, according to the documents filed Friday by defense attorneys J. Anthony Rich and Brian Darling.
William Dembie, 43, called the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office in the early morning Aug. 11 and reported that he had beheaded his 33-year-old wife at their home in Grafton Township. When deputies arrived, they found her nude body in the backyard.
Holly Dembie’s mother, Cheryl Foldes, said she was not surprised with the defense tactics and called it “character assassination.”
“Holly was moving on with her life,” Foldes said. “Who cares who didn’t love who? The bottom line is, that doesn’t give the permission to murder.
William Dembie surrendered to deputies when they arrived at the scene and confessed to stabbing Holly Dembie multiple times with the combat knife that was found near her. Holly Dembie fell from a second-story bathroom window while trying to flee her husband, authorities have said.
Prosecutors have said that William Dembie then went outside and stabbed her twice in the neck and slit her throat twice.
The documents filed by Rich and Darling stated that Foldes “admitted to burning her daughter’s underwear and sheets” in “an attempt to destroy any scientific evidence,” a charge that Foldes denied Friday afternoon.
She said she did burn some paperwork, laundered bloody sheets and removed blood from carpets around the home after William Dembie’s dog mauled a dog warden. Sheriff’s deputies investigated, and Foldes was not charged.
Rich said Friday afternoon that his client “suspected all along” that Holly Dembie was having an affair and that they argued about it the night Holly Dembie died.
Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo declined to comment on the defense filing.
Dembie faces trial Aug. 22 in the courtroom of Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski.