Woman, 81, held without bail for feeding bears, birds

March 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM

SEBRING, Fla., March 5 (UPI) -- An 81-year-old Florida woman on probation for feeding bears is being held without bond for allegedly violating her probation by feeding crows.

Mary Musselman, 81, of Sebring, was warned not to feed wild animals in November when wildlife officers had to euthanize a bear she had been feeding. She was arrested in January when she was found to have been feeding bears in and near her back yard, WTVT-TV, Tampa, Fla., reported Wednesday.

William Fletcher, Musselman's attorney, said his client was arrested on a probation violation when officers found she was leaving bread out for crows in violation of a judge's order for her not to feed wild animals.

Fletcher told the court Musselman suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. He urged the judge to consider placing her in alternate housing, suggesting her brother's home in Illinois.

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

However, the judge said a complete mental evaluation is required and he ordered Musselman to be held without bail until one can be completed.

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