ROCKLAND — The 37-year-old South Thomaston woman accused of beating and strangling 83-year-old Helen Carver inside her home in February had earlier asked someone if they were willing to kill a person.

This development was detailed in a search warrant issued last month to get information from Verizon on two cellphones seized from Sarah Richards and her boyfriend, Jimmy Wellman. Wellman has not been charged with any crime nor accused of any wrongdoing.

Richards is charged with murdering Carver on Feb. 21.

The affidavit signed April 18 in the Knox County court by Maine State Police Detective Scott Quintero offers new information on Carver’s death.

The affidavit says that Richards had stopped at the home of her ex-husband on either Feb. 20 or Feb. 21 and asked him “if he would be willing to kill someone.”

The man told police he thought she was kidding but later realized, after hearing Carver had been killed, that Richards had been asking if he would be willing to help kill Carver.

Richards is scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Knox County court.

Richards was indicted on March 5 on murder and theft charges. She has been held at the Knox County Jail in Rockland without bail since her arrest on Feb. 22.

Carver’s son, Robert Carver, had talked with his mother by telephone shortly before 11 a.m. on Feb. 21 and she had told him that Richards had stolen her debit card. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the Owls Head woman had contacted the office on Feb. 14 about the theft.

A Knox County deputy had contacted Richards and was scheduled to interview her on Feb. 22.

Witnesses said Richards and her boyfriend were seen leaving the area of Carver’s home about 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21, according to the police affidavit.

Carver’s son found his mother dead in the home shortly after 1 p.m. on Feb. 21 after he was unable to reach her again by phone.

Richards initially told police that she had been at the house to shovel snow and went inside and Carver was in good shape when she left, according to the affidavit. She later changed her story and said she went inside and Carver was already dead. Richards said she provided life-saving efforts and left, according to police.

Richards then said when she went inside the house, Carver was upset over the stolen debit card and that the elderly woman “came at her.” Richards said she then lunged at Carver and tackled her into an entertainment center. Richards also admitted striking Carver in the head with a tool. The type of tool is not specified in the police report but police obtained a warrant to examine a shovel that Richards owned for any signs of blood.

Richards said she put her hands around Carver’s neck to determine if she had a pulse.

The affidavit says that the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma with signs of strangulation.

The new affidavit said that Verizon records from the phones of Richards and Wellman could help develop a timeline of events leading up to the killing. The telephones were seized on the morning of Feb. 22 from the truck that Richards and Wellman were in.

Attorney Jeremy Pratt of Camden and Logan Perkins have been appointed to represent Richards.

Murder carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison in Maine.

Richards has a criminal record. 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 her probation for the prior 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 there.

Helen Carver lived alone at the South Shore Drive home after her husband’s death.

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