Module 7 Lesson 1:3
Ms M Farmer v 3 Blind Mice
On the night of July 24, 2013, Ms M Farmer, of Caryville was arrested and charged with viscously cutting off the tails of 3 young disabled juveniles. The 3 blind mice were taken by ambulance to the hospital. 2 of the mice are listed in critical condition. Ms. Farmer was taken to the police station where she was fingerprinted, photographed and booked. She used her one phone call to call her husband, Mr. N Farmer.
On the morning of July 27, 2013, Ms. Farmer appeared in court, where the judge informed Ms. Farmer of the charges against her, and informed her of her right to have a public defender appointed to her case. The judge set bail for 1 million dollars, given the severity of the charges, which were felony, not misdemeanor charges.
On Aug 3, 2013 the defendant, Ms. Farmer appeared in court again with her attorney, so that the judge could determine if there was, in fact reason to believe that she committed the crime she was charged with. After testimony from neighbors, co-workers and local community members, the judge found probable cause that Ms. Farmer did, in fact, commit the crimes as charged. He ordered that the case be sent to a Grand Jury for indictment.
On Nov 12, 2013 the Grand Jury voted (by a majority) to issue an indictment against Ms. M. Farmer. The Arraignment was set for Feb 30, 2015.
At the Arraignment Ms. M Farmer pleaded not guilty. The trial date was set for Jan 13, 2015. No plea bargaining took place.
On the opening day of the trial the prosecution made a case that Ms. M Farmer did in fact, seek to kill the 3 blind mice in a pre-meditated fashion. He said she hated the mice and had already tried to kill them once by chasing them into a large patch of briars in her yard. In this incident, all three of the young mice, then age 6 were blinded. Witnesses that had been subpoenaed to appear in court took the stand. One witness, a neighbor of the Farmers, stated that she had witnessed many acts of violence against the young mice, including the incident which blinded all 3 mice. Another witness broke down as she described how Ms. Farmer told her that she hated the young mice, and wished they were dead. Several time the judge reminded jurors of what it meant to commit perjury.
After a month of trial proceedings, where the evidence was considered and acquittal or conviction issues were explored, a sentencing hearing was held and the petit jury returned a verdict of guilty. With this conviction, the judge told Ms. Farmer and those in the court how appalled he was by Ms. Farmer’s treatment of the youngsters, and said that people who have hatred toward the young should do whatever it takes to deal with that anger, or just stay away from the young. He spoke about how Ms. Farmer had scarred the 3 young mice’s life, and ruined her own. He sentenced Ms. Farmer to life in prison.
An appeal will be filed.
The 3 now blind and tail-less mice have recovered from the injuries they suffered and have been adopted by a disability rights attorney and her husband.