EAST MADISON — A former Maine State Prison guard and registered Maine Guide began serving time at the Somerset County Jail this week for the illegal trapping, torture and death of a wild bobcat in 2009.

Corey A. Robinson, 31, of Montville, was ordered to serve 10 days in jail after denial of an appeal of his conviction by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court last month. He began his sentence Monday.

The charges against him were aggravated cruelty to animals and trapping in a closed season.

Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric J. Walker said Robinson and co-defendant Randall Carl, 46, of Knox, a master Maine Guide, used the bobcat as training bait for their dogs, blue tick hounds. Walker, who prosecuted the original case in Waldo County Superior Court and argued against the appeal to the high court, said the men videotaped the entire event.

The videotape was played for the jury during the trial.

“I am a hunter myself, and I have hunted since I was 10 years old,” Walker said Tuesday. “This is not hunting and this is not trapping. These gentlemen crossed the line, and anyone watching that video would be upset. There was nothing about this that was legal, from the trapping of the animal to using it as a training aid to the torturing of the animal and the killing of the animal, it was all illegal.”

Walker said the men captured the bobcat in a live trap in February 2009 and took it to a friend’s house, where it was kept in a garage overnight.

The next morning the bobcat was taken to a wooded area in Waldo County, where the trap was tied to a rope and dangled over the dogs from a tree limb, with the dogs barking and jumping at it, simulating a cat in a tree, Walker said.

A homemade catch pole with a leash-like collar was placed around the bobcat’s neck and trap was opened, according to Walker.

“They dragged it out into the waiting dogs. The dogs were only a few feet from the open cage,” Walker said. “The dogs immediately grabbed the bobcat, thrashed it terribly.”

Walker said the catch pole did not release as it was supposed to have from the bobcat’s neck, and the animal struggled to get away while the dogs attacked.

“Eventually the dogs did enough damage. They broke its back,” he said. “The animal basically lay in the snow for three to four minutes before it eventually died, but the dogs were being egged on and yelled at and told to keep attacking the bobcat.”

Robinson was convicted in October 2011 and sentenced to 15 months in jail, with all but 10 days suspended and two years of probation. The conviction on the aggravated cruelty charge, a Class C felony, means Robinson no longer could work at the state prison or possess a firearm.

His license as a Maine Guide also may be in jeopardy, Walker said.

In his appeal, Robinson asked state supreme court justices to vacate the jury’s verdict on the felony charge because the statute was too vague.

Robinson’s attorney, Thomas S. Marjerison, of Portland, told the high court that events leading up to the bobcat’s death did not constitute “depraved indifference” to animal life as the law requires.

Court justices disagreed, saying the aggravated cruelty to animals statute is not unconstitutionally vague when viewed in the circumstances of this case.

Robinson is considered a boarder from the Waldo County Jail, even though Somerset County officials said they no longer accept out-of-county inmates, because they are in an ongoing battle with state officials about the cost of housing them.

Maj. David Allen, Somerset County Jail administrator, said his facility made an exception in Robinson’s case because Three Rivers Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he would have served his time, would not take him.

“It’s a separate situation because he’s an ex-prison guard,” Allen said Tuesday. “Two Bridges doesn’t want him because of all the state prisoners down there.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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