FARMINGTON — Police say a 65-year-old New Sharon woman assaulted a state trooper with a 975,000-volt stun gun during an investigation into possible animal hoarding at her house on Lane Road.

 Carol Murphy pleaded not guilty in Franklin County Superior Court on Thursday to assault on an officer, criminal threatening, refusing to submit to
arrest and criminal use of an electronic weapon. She was being held at the Franklin County jail on
$10,000 cash bail or $100,000 worth of real estate.

State Animal Welfare Program staff and Maine State Police seized at least 40
domestic and farm critters, including a donkey, two alpacas and a
pot-bellied pig, at Murphy’s house on Thursday.

“We found a lot of animals,” Animal Welfare Director Norma Worley said. “Forty at
minimal; maybe more.”

Murphy is under a court
order that bars her from keeping animals at her home. 

In 2004, nearly 70 animals were seized from her property, most of
them
living in her house and garage. In 2005, she was convicted of animal cruelty
and possessing animals without permits. Murphy was sentenced to six months in jail, with all but
24 hours suspended, and one year of probation. She was fined and ordered to pay restitution, as well as prohibited
from possessing any animals for the rest of her life.

State Trooper Aaron Turcotte, who was not seriously injured by
the shock to his head and neck, went to the house Wednesday after a
representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked
police to check on Murphy.

Turcotte wrote in an affidavit that when he arrived at the house he
saw several roosters walking around outside and Murphy walking toward
her car. He told her he had a warrant for her arrest and asked if she
needed to lock her home. She shook her head and
walked into her house, he wrote. The warrant was issued for unpaid fines and fees in connection with the animal cruelty
conviction in 2005.

After Murphy had been inside for
five minutes, Turcotte said he opened the storm door and knocked on the
inside door and it partially opened.

“I could smell a strong
odor of feces coming from inside the home,” he wrote. “I could hear
what sounded like several dogs barking from inside.”

When Murphy finally came out with her back to him, Turcotte held the door for her because he thought she was having some difficulty.

“At
this time, I felt something striking my face and neck, jolting me,” he
said, and he saw a black object in her hand. “I could then hear the noise
being made from the black object and realized I had been shocked by a
stun gun on the face and neck,” he wrote.

Turcotte said he ordered Murphy to drop the stun gun, which she
refused to do and began to advance on him. He used pepper spray on her and grabbed her by the arms, pulling her to the ground.
She continued to resist, but he was able to handcuff her, he
said.

Murphy was arrested and taken to the Franklin County jail in Farmington on Wednesday. Her house was watched through the night by state police, Trooper Samuel Tlumac said from the road
in front of Murphy’s property on Thursday.

A donkey could be heard braying and a dog was barking. There were roosters in a pet carrier in the driveway.

State veterinarian Christine Fraser carried a large animal crate to the house from a vehicle parked on the road. The animals were to be taken to shelters around the state, Worley said.

[email protected]

Staff of the Maine State Animal Welfare Program and Maine State Police seized about 40 animals Thursday from Carol Murphy’s home at 248 Lane Road in New Sharon. Murphy is under a lifetime ban prohibiting her from having animals.

Carol Murphy of New Sharon

Maine state veterinarian, Dr. Christine Fraser, carries a large animal crate to Carol Murphy’s home where staff from the Maine Animal Welfare Program and Maine State Police were seizing animals. Murphy used a stun gun on a state trooper Wednesday.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.