Elderly Woman To Remain Jailed For Feeding Birds - KMSP-TV

Elderly Woman To Remain Jailed For Feeding Birds

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TAMPA, FL (FOX 13) - 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.

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