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Woman sentenced to 38 years in prison for murder of elderly Owls Head resident

38-year-old Sarah Richards had previously plead guilty to murder and theft for the bludgeoning death of 83-year-old Helen Carver.
38-year-old Sarah Richards had previously plead guilty to murder and theft for the bludgeoning death of 83-year-old Helen Carver.(WABI)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 11:17 AM EDT
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ROCKLAND, Maine (WABI) - A South Thomaston woman who was accused of killing an elderly Owls Head woman in February 2019 was sentenced in a Rockland courtroom Wednesday morning.

38-year-old Sarah Richards had previously plead guilty to murder and theft for the bludgeoning death of 83-year-old Helen Carver.

The prosecution says Helen Carver’s murder was senseless and brutal.

“She was a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. She should’ve lived out her life in as healthy a fashion as she could. She should’ve lived out her life in a peaceful fashion in her own home where she was protected. Instead, she was murdered in her own home,” said Assistant District Attorney Bud Ellis.

Her son found her body and says it's an image he will never be able to erase from his memory.

Robert Carver, Helen’s son, is the one who found his mother that day. “He found his mother dead on the floor in a pool of blood. It’s a vision he says he will never be able to forget,” said prosecutors as they presented their case to the judge.

Robert Carver addressed the judge via video saying, “I would hope, your Honor that you would give my mother justice. I hope that Sarah Richards would spend the rest of her life in prison for her choice to take my mother’s life.

In February 2019, Richards was accused of stealing a debit card from Carver and spending more than one thousand dollars from the woman's bank account.

After being caught, Richards beat Carver to death with a snow shovel.

Richards says she doesn't remember what happened that day.

Defense attorneys say that Richards was under the influence of drugs when the incident happened and that the woman should not be considered a reliable source when it comes to what actually happened the day of the killing.

“Given her mental illness and given her drug use at that time, I frankly do not believe that her memory is reliable,” said Defense Attorney Jeremey Pratt.

Her defense argues that poorly addressed mental health issues are to blame for her actions.

During the proceeding, Richards addressed the court, apologizing to Helen Carver’s family, ”This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Addiction is so powerful that it has come before anything and everything in my life. There are no words that I can ever say that can even describe the sorrow I have for my actions.”

Richards says she hopes that in prison she can get the mental health assistance she needs and become a better person.

The judge sentenced Richards to 38 years in prison and ordered her to pay $7,000 in restitution to the Carver family.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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