ROCKLAND — A South Thomaston woman accused of killing an 83-year-old Owls Head woman by bludgeoning her to death after being caught stealing her debit card was indicted on a murder charge by a Knox County grand jury on Tuesday.

Sarah Richards, 37, was indicted in the Feb. 21 killing of Helen Carver. Richards had been shoveling snow for the woman, who relied on a wheelchair.

Richards also was indicted on theft charges Tuesday. She is accused of stealing more than $1,000 from Carver in the two weeks before her death, the indictment said.

Richards was arrested Feb. 22 and has since been held without bail at the Knox County Jail in Rockland. No court date has been scheduled for Richards to be arraigned on the charges.

An autopsy completed Feb. 22 by the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Carver died from blunt force trauma.

Carver’s son, Robert Carver, of Bath, said he had talked to his mother the morning she was killed, and she suspected Richards had stolen her debit card and used it to make multiple purchases the previous day. His mother had contacted police about the theft, her son said. Helen Carver lived alone at the South Shore Drive home after her husband’s death.

Robert Carver said he tried calling his mother later in the day, but could not reach her. He drove up to check on her and found her in the home. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office reported that it received a call at 1:30 p.m. from someone who had found a woman covered in blood in the home.

A murder conviction carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison, with the possibility of life behind bars.

Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis requested, and Justice Bruce Mallonee agreed last month, to impound the affidavit stating the reasons for the arrest. The affidavit remains sealed from public view.

Richards is represented by attorney Jeremy Pratt of Camden.

Richards has a long criminal record, including under a former name, Sarah Stalcup, according to the State Bureau of Identification. She was convicted of stealing more than 100 lobster crates from Fox Island Lobster in Cushing in 2013. She had worked at the business.

She received a nine-month jail term in 2016 for unlawful trafficking in drugs. In June 2017, she was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating the probation she was on for the drug conviction.

She was charged with theft in 2012 by Waldoboro police. In 2013, she served seven days in jail for violating a condition of release.

In 2006, Richards was sentenced to five days in jail for violating probation for illegal importation of drugs. In 2004, she was sentenced to 48 hours in jail for theft.

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