SKOWHEGAN — The owner of a cow fatally shot in Embden and the alleged shooter have denied charges against them, and the cases will continue until spring, with a trial possibly in April.

Jaime Danforth, owner of the 3-year-old Holstein heifer shot and killed in Embden in early September, appeared Wednesday in Skowhegan District Court on a charge of animal trespass, a civil violation.

“I’m just letting it be in the district attorney’s hands, and will let them see what they’re going to do,” Danforth said after her court appearance.

Her family has alleged a neighbor’s son, Mason Sparrow, shot and killed the cow, Sophie, after Sophie wandered onto the Sparrows’ property and caused minor damage to a Lincoln Navigator parked in the driveway.

The Sparrows have disputed the allegations, saying the cow was acting aggressively and charged at Mason Sparrow, prompting him to pull out the gun he carries and shoot it.

The case sparked widespread outrage. Anthony Sparrow, Mason Sparrow’s father, said in a recent interview it has destroyed their lives and led to numerous threats against them.

The Somerset County District Attorney’s Office is seeking a fine and restitution for the vehicle from Danforth.

On Wednesday, appearing before District Court Judge Andrew Benson, Danforth said she understands the charge against her but denies it. She is scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 27.

Mason Sparrow also is facing a charge of cruelty to animals. His lawyer, Kevin Sullivan, entered a plea of not guilty on Sparrow’s behalf last week. A trial has been scheduled for April 16, according to court records.

Anthony Sparrow also alleged the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and Somerset County District Attorney’s Office sided with the Danforths and moved to charge his son only after public outcry over the shooting. Both agencies have denied that charge.

Asked to respond Wednesday to the allegations from Sparrow, Danforth said she had no comment.

“No, I have to get to work,” she said.

Sophie, the 3-year-old Holstein heifer owned by Jaime Danforth.

Assistant District Attorney Frank Griffin speaks Wednesday with defendant Jaime Danforth before a hearing in Somerset District Court in Skowhegan. Danforth has been charged with animal trespass after her Holstein cow wandered onto a neighbor’s property, where it was shot. A trial could continue next spring. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)

Defendant Jaime Danforth returns to her seat Wednesday during a hearing in Somerset District Court in Skowhegan. Danforth has been charged with animal trespass after her Holstein cow wandered onto a neighbor’s property, where it was shot. A trial could continue in the spring. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)

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