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ME: Master Maine Guide found guilty in animal cruelty case

April 23, 2012

By Abigail Curtis, BangorDailyNews.com

BELFAST, Maine — It didn’t take long Monday afternoon for a Waldo County jury to decide the fate of a Master Maine Guide and Maine State Prison guard who was accused of aggravated animal cruelty against a bobcat.
 
Less than an hour after the conclusion of the daylong trial, the jury in Waldo County Superior Court returned with a verdict against 46-year-old Randall Carl of Knox: guilty.
 
Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said after the sentencing that the February 2009 incident, during which Carl and three other men had used the illegally trapped bobcat in a failed effort to train their bluetick coonhounds, can’t be justified in any way.
 
Carl tethered the caged bobcat to a pole with a rope wrapped around its neck. He let the bobcat out of the cage, shown in a home video that was taken of the training experiment, and hunting dogs attacked and killed it.
 
“I think most people who are hunters, like myself, would be most offended by the conduct of these guys,” Walker said. “It gives us all a bad name.”
 
...
 
The jurors also found that Carl, who in the past has worked as an animal control officer in the western Maine town of Vienna, was guilty of a closed-season trapping violation.
 
Justice Robert Murray sentenced Carl after the verdict was returned. Carl, who his attorney said will lose his job with the Department of Corrections because he is now a convicted felon, was sentenced to 15 months in prison with all but 10 days suspended. Additionally, he will pay $1,325 in fines and fees and spend two years on probation, during which time he will be prohibited from using or possessing hunting dogs or hunting or trapping equipment. He also will be barred from hunting, trapping or guiding activities during this time.
 
Carl was not the first person to be sentenced on charges stemming from the incident. Last October, his friend and fellow prison guard Corey Robinson, 30, of Montville also was found guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals and a closed-season trapping violation by a different Waldo County jury.

Robinson received the same sentence but is appealing the verdict, according to Walker.

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