Bear-feeding elderly woman granted $12,000 bond - New York News

Bear-feeding elderly woman granted $12,000 bond

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SEBRING (FOX 13) -

An 81-year-old Highlands County woman in jail for feeding bears has been granted bond.

Mary Musselman has been in jail for more than a week, after she was arrested for feeding wild bears in her backyard in Sebring.

A judge granted her $12,000 bond; she left the county jail Friday evening.

"It is a sad thing. She just cares for animals," her husand William told FOX 13. "She would feed animals before she would feed herself."

Officials say Musselman ignored their repeated warnings not to feed bears, and then resisted arrest.

In court Friday, Musselman -- in an orange jail jumpsuit and with cuffed hands -- meekly pledged to follow any such court order if she's released from jail.

"Miss Musselman,," the judge said. "If I enter a court order, are you going to follow it now?"

"I certainly will," Musselman responded.

"You understand we had problems with that in the past. If I say you have to have a mental health evaluation. If I say you can't have anything out there to feed the bears, you gonna do that?

"Yes," she said.

The judge wanted to consider the possibility of mental illness, which was raised by her attorney and husband.

Musselman's attorney wants his client to be released so she can have a private psychiatrist evaluate her. The state argued that she should be kept in jail, evaluated, then a decision should be made.

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