FARMINGTON – A judge sentenced a New Sharon woman Thursday to four years in prison for a premeditated stun-gun attack on a state trooper.
Carol A. Murphy, 65, was found guilty of assaulting an officer, refusing to submit to arrest, criminal use of an electronic weapon and two counts of animal cruelty.
Franklin County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy also prohibited Carol Murphy from ever possessing animals. It was the second lifetime ban ordered by the Franklin County court, though Carol Murphy claimed there was never a first order.
She was convicted of cruelty to animals in 2005 after state humane agents seized about 70 animals from her home at 248 Lane Road.
Justice Murphy on Thursday commended Maine State Police Trooper Aaron Turcotte for his professional conduct on Oct. 14, 2009, when he went to arrest Carol Murphy on a warrant for unpaid fines and fees. An audio recording of the assault was played for the jury Wednesday during Murphy's trial.
In court Thursday, Carol Murphy turned to Turcotte and told him that because the warrant he arrested her on was bad, she had the right to “kill” him that day in October 2009.
On Oct. 15, 2009, state agents seized about 45 animals from her property.
In addition to the sentence for the assault, Carol Murphy was ordered to serve nine months, concurrent with the four-year sentence, on each of the other charges. She was also ordered to serve 30 days for contempt of court for her disruptive conduct during her one-day trial. It was the maximum sentence allowed.
On Wednesday, without the jury present, Murphy referred to the justice as "this bitch." Carol Murphy, who acted as her own attorney, later walked out of the courtroom during testimony and did not return.
She continued to tell the court Thursday that Justice Murphy had no jurisdiction over the trial and continued to claim the justice was a criminal.
She said the first conviction of animal cruelty was null and void because there was no search warrant issued to seize her animals and the state violated her rights. The warrant Trooper Turcotte arrested her on last year stemmed from unpaid fines from the 2005 conviction.
Assistant District Attorney James Andrews asked the court for a sentence of between 24 and 30 months. He also asked that none of it be suspended and no probation be allowed in an effort to protect society. He said he wouldn't be surprised if Carol Murphy picked up a few stray cats on her way home from prison and became violent the next time a person of authority approached her.
Turcotte told the court he used a degree of compassion in this case and learned the hard way. He said he was concerned that it would happen again and asked for restrictions on her to protect law enforcement officers and others with authority from such attacks.
Justice Murphy said she disagreed with the state and set the sentence higher, based on Carol Murphy showing no remorse, smiling and nodding when the video of the “unprovoked, premeditated” attack was played. Murphy's remark that she had a right to kill Turcotte was another factor in the sentencing, the justice said.
It was only “by luck” that Trooper Turcotte wasn't seriously injured, Justice Murphy said.
A state evaluation of Carol Murphy found no evidence of delusional or psychotic thinking, the justice said.