Carol Sharrow is surrounded by guards and her lawyer Monday at the York County Superior Court in Alfred. Sharrow was charged with manslaughter in the death of Douglas Parkhurst, who was killed Friday night in a hit-and-run crash during a baseball game at Goodall Park in Sanford. (Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald)

ALFRED — A woman accused of driving onto a youth baseball field in Sanford on Friday night and killing a man who was attending the game was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail by a judge in York County Superior Court on Monday.

Carol Sharrow of Sanford arrives for her arraignment Monday on manslaughter charges at the York County Superior Court in Alfred. Sharrow is accused of driving onto the field Friday during a baseball game in Sanford, killing Douglas Parkhurst of West Newfield. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas also ordered a mental health evaluation for Carol Sharrow and scheduled the next hearing in the case for Sept. 5.

The 51-year-old Sanford woman is accused of killing Douglas Parkhurst of West Newfield with her car after driving onto the field during a Babe Ruth baseball game at Goodall Park on Friday night. Witnesses said Parkhurst, 68, pushed some children out of the path of the car before he was hit.

The bail amount is unusually high for someone facing a manslaughter charge.

A defense attorney who is not connected to the case said the judge likely set it at that level to ensure that Sharrow remains in custody and does not pose a danger to the community.

Tina Nadeau, executive director of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said she couldn’t recall another manslaughter case in which the bail was set so high. Given Sharrow’s apparent lack of means, Nadeau said, it’s equivalent to ordering Sharrow held without bail.

“It does feel really high,” Nadeau said. In setting bail, the judge probably factored in what Sharrow is accused of more than whether she is a flight risk, she said.

“The public was really put at risk that night and that’s why I think the judge is setting it so high,” Nadeau said.

Sharrow has two convictions for drunken driving, police said Monday morning, but authorities aren’t saying whether alcohol was a factor in the incident Friday night.

Assistant District Attorney Thad West, the prosecutor at the brief hearing Monday, said the investigation into Parkhurst’s death is continuing and details – including a police affidavit with an official account of the incident and the reasons for Sharrow’s arrest – were being withheld until the investigation is complete.

If convicted, Sharrow faces up to 30 years in prison.

Sharrow’s attorney, Robert Ruffner, did not oppose the high bail, but reserved the right to challenge it and seek lower bail later. He said he didn’t know if Sharrow or her family members had the means to post the bail set Monday.

Sharrow, wearing orange jail overalls, seemed impassive during Monday’s hearing. She could hardly be seen in the courtroom, with Ruffner and court officers standing between her and observers. About 20 people were in the courtroom, but none of them would talk and they left immediately after the hearing without commenting.

Sanford police Detective Sgt. Matthew Jones said Sharrow has a drunken-driving conviction in Maine and an aggravated drunken-driving conviction in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Police have declined to say whether alcohol was involved in Friday’s incident. In a death involving a vehicle, police draw blood from the driver to do a toxicology screening.

Jones also said Sharrow has a history of mental health issues. He would not elaborate and declined to comment on what her mental state might have been Friday night, but he said she was reported missing in 2014 and was found in the woods about 24 hours after she was last seen at a local restaurant.

Ruffner said he was appointed to the case Monday morning and spoke with Sharrow before the hearing. He declined to characterize his client’s mood, offer a motive for her driving on the field or provide any information on the case, including whether she was drinking Friday night.

The bizarre sight of a car careening around the field stunned players on the field and spectators. And, in an unusual twist, Parkhurst, the man who was struck and killed, had confessed five years ago to the hit-and-run death of a 4-year-old girl in Fulton, New York, in 1968. He was never prosecuted because the statute of limitations had run out.

Relatives of the girl said news that the 61-year-old had been killed by a driver in Sanford brought closure to the family.

Ruffner said there was “no information either way” on whether Sharrow and Parkhurst knew each other before Friday night.

Sharrow’s psychological examination will probably be conducted over the next couple of months, Ruffner said, but won’t become public unless it becomes an issue in the case – if Ruffner tries to argue that his client is not competent to stand trial or not criminally responsible for her actions, for example.

No one answered doorbells at the four-unit apartment building where Sharrow lived on Monday morning.

Biddeford Journal Tribune Reporter Tammy Wells contributed to this report.

Carol Sharrow of Sanford stands for her arraignment Monday on manslaughter charges at the York County Superior Court in Alfred. Sharrow is accused of driving onto the field Friday during a baseball game in Sanford, killing Douglas Parkhurst of West Newfield. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)


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