ROCKLAND, Maine — The South Thomaston woman accused of killing an elderly woman in her Owls Head home last week will continue to be held without bail pending a yet-to-be scheduled court hearing.
Sarah Richards, 37, made her first court appearance Monday afternoon in Knox County District Court. Richards is charged with one count of murder in connection to the death of 83-year-old Helen Carver.
Carver was found dead Thursday in her home, where she lived alone. The state medical examiner’s office determined she died of blunt force trauma.
Richards’ father had been hired by Carver to shovel her driveway and walkways this winter, but she took over the work in December.
Carver’s sons said their mother suspected that Richards had stolen a debit or a credit card from her. They said Carver reported the alleged theft to police.
Richards was arrested Friday on the murder charge and is being held at the Knox County Jail in Rockland.
Monday’s court hearing lasted about five minutes. Richards quietly answered “yes” when Justice Bruce Mallonee asked if she understood the charges against her.
Attorney Jeremy Pratt of Camden was appointed to represent Richards. Pratt did not immediately request that a hearing be held to determine whether Richards would be eligible for bail.
Mallonee set a period of up to 75 days before the next hearing is held so Pratt can review all of the case material. The judge also approved a request from Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis to impound the affidavit, which would detail the reasons for the arrest.
Richards has a lengthy criminal history, consisting mostly of thefts and drug convictions. Most recently, Richards was convicted in 2015 of stealing and reselling lobster crates with her then-husband from the Fox Island Lobster Co. Richards was sentenced to serve 10 months at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham and pay $1,605 for her role in that crime, according to her criminal record.
If Richards is found guilty of murder, she faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.