Errant pet owner Carol Murphy misses court date to reclaim animals (7-31-15)
If she doesn’t appear next month in court, the state could issue a warrant for her arrest.
FARMINGTON — A 71-year-old New Sharon woman with a history of animal cruelty charges missed a chance to reclaim a menagerie of pets seized by the state – including a pot-bellied pig, two kittens and a German shepherd – by missing her court date Friday.
Carol Murphy is barred for life from owning pets as the result of animal abuse convictions in 2005 and 2010. Authorities confiscated the animals in early July after executing a search warrant at her property on Lane Road.
Her motion challenging the forfeiture, which also sought the return of 14 other animals taken by the state late last year, was denied by Judge Lance Walker because of her absence from court in Farmington.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said his office also might seek restitution for the costs of housing and caring for the animals.
“I believe it’s around $670,” he told the judge.
Murphy, who has represented herself at past hearings, could face fines or jail time if she’s found to have violated the lifetime bans on animal ownership. She’s scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 28 for a status update on the case.
If she doesn’t appear next month, the state will have the option of issuing a warrant for her arrest. The court already has issued at least two arrest warrants following Murphy’s absence at related hearings.
Despite filing a motion in Superior Court to reclaim the animals, Murphy on multiple occasions has disputed the court’s jurisdiction over her. She has told the court that she is “not a U.S. citizen,” instead referring to herself as a citizen of the Republic of Maine.
Murphy was convicted of animal cruelty in 2005, after officials seized dozens of pets from her home. The state said her animals were living in unhealthy and inhumane conditions. Few animals had food or water, prosecutors alleged, and the air reeked of ammonia. She was sentenced to 24 hours in jail and banned from owning pets.
She was convicted again in 2010 following authorities’ discovery of more than 40 emaciated pets at her home. During the investigation of the case, she used a stun gun on a state trooper when he tried to arrest her on a warrant for unpaid fines.
Offender ID: 100187
Incident ID: 200162