Animal cruelty case continued after judge recuses himself

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted July 19, 2013, at 6:20 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A former Hudson couple appeared Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center prepared to admit to animal cruelty, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson declined to accept their admissions to the civil violation and recused himself from the case due to his wife’s activities as an animal rights activist, Assistant District Attorney Tracy Lacher said.

Jerry Thomas, 53, and his 55-year-old wife Kathy Thomas were charged last month by Old Town police after they were seen abandoning an ill German shepherd in the pouring rain off a turnaround along the Bennoch Road, according to a previously published report. The couple had moved out of their Hudson home and were living in a Bangor motel at the time of the incident.

A new date for the couple’s court appearances has not been set, Lacher said.

If a judge finds the Thomas couple violated the cruelty to animal statute, each could be fined between $250 and $1,000. They also could be ordered to pay for the dog’s treatment and euthanization last month.

The 5-year-old dog was put to sleep after cancer was found throughout its body, according to a previously published report.

Anderson is married to Meris J. Bickford, an attorney who is vice-president of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. The organization operates the largest horse rescue farm in New England in South Windham.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/19/news/bangor/animal-cruelty-case-continued-after-judge-recuses-himself/ printed on December 22, 2014