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New Sharon woman in court to answer summons

FARMINGTON — A New Sharon woman facing charges of contempt of court and refusing to submit to arrest and stop for an officer responded to a court summons on Friday.  

Carol Murphy, 72, appeared told Franklin County Superior Court Justice William Stokes she never received a notice to appear for the two cases earlier this month.

After Murphy missed the court appearance, Margot Joly, a court-appointed attorney, said she failed to notify Murphy and an arrest warrant was avoided.

But, Stokes wanted to go over court procedures in person with Murphy. He said he issued the summons for Friday’s appearance so there would be no more confusion or dispute.

Murphy is scheduled to appear for a docket call at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 24 and for jury selection at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15, he said.

Stokes also questioned Murphy’s decision to represent herself. She indicated she did not want Joly or any other court-appointed attorney.

“You have the right to represent yourself, but you may be at a disadvantage,” Stokes said.

Joly will assist Murphy as a stand-by counsel, Murphy said.

Murphy repeatedly questioned Stokes as to the type of court this is — common law or admiralty as indicated by the constitution — so that she could learn the rules to represent herself.

Stokes said he refused to “play her games.” At one point, he threatened to have her removed from the court and charged with contempt when she appeared argumentative.

The first case against Murphy is a contempt of court charge based on violation of two court-ordered lifetime bans on animal possession. She was convicted in 2005 and 2010 of animal cruelty.  

The state conducted several searches and seized 19 animals from her residence over a period of a year. The last seizure was a dog in November 2015.

The other case involves three misdemeanor charges: violation of condition of release; refusing to submit to arrest; and refusing to stop for an officer in October of 2015. 

She was arrested after failing to stop her vehicle and ignoring verbal commands from Deputy Andrew Morgan, according to officials.

The deputy attempted to stop Murphy on Lane Road due to a broken taillight. She pulled into her driveway and ignored his commands. When she started walking toward her residence, Morgan hit her with a Taser, according to officials.

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