FARMINGTON — In a bizarre one-day trial, a jury found a New Sharon woman guilty Wednesday of animal cruelty and shocking a state trooper with a stun gun.
The Franklin County Superior Court jury reached its decision after 30 minutes of deliberation, and hours after defendant Carol Murphy, 65, walked out of the courtroom during testimony and did not return.
Murphy, who was found competent last month to stand trial and chose to represent herself, disrupted court several times during the morning. At one point, without the jury present, she asked for someone to call Sheriff Dennis Pike to arrest "this bitch," referring to Justice Michaela Murphy. She said he had filed suit in federal court in Boston alleging "wrongdoing" by Justice Murphy, state prosecutors and others.
“You must step down,” she told the justice. “You are a defendant my dear … This is a kangaroo court.”
Justice Murphy had previously denied Murphy's motion to recuse herself from the case.
During most of the morning proceedings, Carol Murphy read to herself "True Evil" by Greg Isles.
She was found guilty of assault on a police officer, refusing to submit to arrest, criminal use of electronic weapon and two counts of cruelty to animals. The ruling came nearly five years to the day when Murphy was convicted of animal cruelty March 4, 2005.
State Police Trooper Aaron Turcotte testified Wednesday that he went to Murphy's house Oct. 14, 2009, to arrest her on a warrant for unpaid fines stemming from the 2005 conviction. He started out to investigate a complaint by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals that Carol Murphy was in possession of animals, a violation of a court-ordered ban.
Turcotte testified that he allowed Murphy to go back into her house to get some personal items and lock the door. After about five minutes, he knocked on the door and as she backed out while he held the door for her, he felt a shock to his neck and face and heard a noise. The jury watched a video of the incident recorded by the cruiser's camera and heard the sound of the 975,000-volt stun gun going off.
Turcotte finally subdued Murphy with pepper spray and arrested her.
Nicole Quick, a Franklin County Detention Center corrections officer, testified she took a knife with a 4-inch, double-edged blade from Murphy's pocket when she came to the jail.
Dr. Christine Fraser, state veterinarian, testified there were 45 animals on Murphy's property at 248 Lane Road. Most of them were in the house without water and food and living in fecal and urine soaked cages. She also testified that one German shepherd dog was clinically dehydrated and emaciated. The dog weighed 41 pounds and could not stand up in the small cage he was kept in, she said.
Fraser also testified there was a potbellied pig that weighed about 300 pounds and had overgrown hooves in a too-small cage.
Justice Murphy said after jurors were dismissed that she would discuss Carol Murphy's conduct during the trial and a sentencing process with her at 9 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse.