Judge enters denial for New Sharon woman accused of violating animal ban

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FARMINGTON — Judge Nancy Carlson entered a denial Wednesday to a contempt of court complaint for Carol Murphy, a New Sharon woman, who is accused of having animals since Jan. 1, while under a 2010 court-ordered lifetime ban from having animals.

Murphy, 70, was convicted in 2005 and 2010 on animal cruelty charges and ordered both times to never possess animals. Murphy claimed the first order was not legal because it was not put in the court’s sentencing paperwork.

Murphy refused to enter an admittance or a denial Wednesday to the complaint as directed by Carlson in Franklin County Superior Court.

Instead, Murphy continued talking and wouldn’t stop when the judge told her to be silent. She also continued to talk when Carlson was speaking.

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Murphy said she objected to the court entering a denial on the complaint and said she was not giving up any of her rights.

Murphy challenged the state’s jurisdiction and claimed she had not had due process when a warrant was executed on Wednesday, Oct. 1, resulting in the state removing approximately a dozen animals from her property. She said armed police officers handcuffed her and she had to stand in the street with an officer while her property was searched and animals were removed from the premises.

The state issued Murphy a citation for contempt of court.

Murphy also told the court she wanted the case dismissed and gave the state a two-week ultimatum to return her animals in the same condition as when they were taken.

She cited several documents she has filed and told the court that Gov. Paul LePage and federal agents would be watching the case.

Murphy was given paperwork to fill out if she wanted a court-appointed attorney. Her next appearance is scheduled for Dec. 22.

A Franklin County jury convicted Murphy in 2010 on two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. At the same time, she was convicted of using a 975,000-volt stun gun on a state police trooper who tried to arrest her on a warrant on Oct. 14, 2009, for unpaid fines and fees. She was sentenced to four years for the premeditated attack and nine months on each of the animal cruelty charges to run concurrent with the four-year sentence.

State agents seized approximately 45 animals in 2009 and 70 animals in 2004 from Murphy’s property.

Seized by the state last week from Murphy’s Lane Road property were an assortment of animals, including dogs, a cat, chinchillas, rabbits and a pot-bellied pig. The animals are in the custody of state animal welfare agents.

“We don’t anticipate any new charges of animal cruelty based on what we saw,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said during recess, referring to treatment of the animals.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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