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
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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