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Elderly woman, age 81, remains jailed for feeding birds

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Perhaps owners of bird feeders should be aware as they might just have to go to jail.

Sebring (Fox13) reported earlier, January 31, 2014, that a woman, age 81, who is reported as having dementia and Alzheimer’s was recently arrested for feeding bears in her backyard. There is video here also.

Below is an updated report of March 6, 2014, where she was arrested and jailed for failing to obey her court order.

Her attorney reported that her husband is not well and this has taken its toll on him as well. The attorney warned the judge that the world was watching.

She was arrested and told by the judge that if she fed any more wildlife she would go to jail. The authorities explained that when people feed the bears they become acclimated to humans and can be dangerous.

Her second big offense was when they caught her leaving out bread to feed the crows. This poor fragile looking woman stands bewildered in the courtroom in handcuffs. The judge refused to release her and decided that she should stay in jail until a complete mental evaluation is performed.

Because of her recent defiance of her court order, she is to remain in jail reports Fox News Tampa Bay Channel 13.

Below is the updated story published on March 6, 2014, by MyFoxPhilly where the judge would not release her and said she had to remain in jail. There is video here also.

“A woman who was arrested last month for feeding wild animals will stay in jail for now after her latest arrest.

A judge decided this morning to hold Mary Musselman, 81, behind bars after she allegedly violated the terms of her probation.

Musselman originally went to jail back in January after wildlife officers said she violated probation by feeding bears in and near her backyard. They said she had been warned not to feed wild animals last November after wildlife officers had to euthanize a bear she had been feeding.

A judge gave her probation at the time, and made it clear: Do it again, and go to jail.

She did, was arrested in January, and the case ignited controversy when Musselman was held without bond.

Her attorney, William Fletcher, told FOX 13 that officers issued a new arrest warrant after checking on her home and seeing that she was leaving bread out for crows.

That violates her court order not to feed any wild animals.

Musselman appeared in court this morning. Fletcher said a medical evaluation concluded that Musselman suffers from Alzheimer's and dementia, and he requested that the judge place her in alternate housing, such as her brother's home in Illinois.

"I understand the court orders need to be obeyed. But this woman, she's mentally ill, judge," he said.

The judge, however, said he wanted a more complete mental evaluation and ordered Musselman to be held in a secure facility until then, so she will remain behind bars.

There is an earlier report about Ms. Musselman, who defined court orders not to feed the bears and she continued and a bear had to e put down because of her feeding it. Neighbors have mixed emotions about the situation in that she is elderly and has always fed the wildlife and the threat of aggressive bears.

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