New Sharon woman issued contempt paperwork for violating animal ban

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FARMINGTON — A New Sharon woman was served with a contempt of court complaint Wednesday that charged her with violating a 2010 court order not to possess or own animals for the rest of her life.

Neighbors of Carol Murphy of Lane Road previously complained to the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office that Murphy had animals, including dogs. Justice William Stokes approved a state prosecutor’s request to issue a contempt of court citation in September.

Murphy was sentenced in 2010 to four years in prison for using a stun-gun on Maine State Police Trooper Aaron Turcotte when he tried to arrest her on a warrant for unpaid fines and fees on Oct. 14, 2009. The following day, state agents seized about 45 animals from Murphy’s residence.

A Franklin County jury found her guilty on other charges related to the premeditated attack and also found her guilty of two counts of animal cruelty. She was sentenced to nine months on each charge to be served at the same time as the four-year sentence. She was also ordered to serve 30 days for contempt of court, which was the maximum allowed under the law.

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Justice Michaela Murphy also prohibited her from possessing or owning animals during her lifetime.

It was the second court-ordered lifetime ban of owning animals since 2005, though Carol Murphy claimed the first order was not legal because it was not put in the court’s sentencing paperwork.

Carol Murphy was convicted of cruelty to animals in 2005 after state agents seized about 70 animals from her home on Lane Road. It was at that time the first ban was ordered in court.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins confirmed Wednesday that the state’s contempt of court complaint was issued to Murphy by a Franklin County Sheriff’s Department deputy Wednesday.

Animals on the property were seized by state animal welfare agents with the assistance of law enforcement, including Maine State Police.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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