July 12, 2011

Wells woman acquitted of kitten theft

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

ALFRED — A jury has acquitted a Wells woman of a charge that she stole a kitten from a humane society in Wells.

The jury in York County Superior Court began deliberations shortly after 2 p.m. today and returned a verdict of not guilty around 3:30 p.m. in the trial of Sandra Molina, a 52-year-old convenience store employee.

Molina was accused of stealing a 6-week-old kitten, named "Justin," from Safe Haven Humane Society in Wells late last year. At the time, Molina was fostering a litter of six kittens for the shelter that included Justin.

Justin's supporters alleged he was taken to New Jersey, where he was subjected to neglect and abuse. They organized a campaign to fax letters to the York County District Attorney's Office in support of Justin's cause.

Molina was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, a Class E misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

The state's case this morning focused on an agreement that Molina signed to foster the cats. Under that agreeement she was responsible for the cats and didn't have the authority to transfer the cats to anyone else.

But Molina, who acted as her own attorney today, said she wasn't home when one of her daughters gave Justin to her eldest daughter, Cassandra, who took the cat to New Jersey with her. Molina said her daughters ex-boyfriend was keeping the cat in New Jersey and wouldn't give it back.


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