MARLOW – A 49-year-old Marlow woman is in jail on a $1 million bond for a second-degree murder count and 112 counts of cruelty to animals for a home-run puppy mill.
Karen Jean Pritchard made her initial appearance Monday in Stephens County District Court where she received felony counts of second-degree murder and over 100 counts of animal cruelty, records indicate. The murder charge is punishable by life in prison.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Pritchard admitted to killing Ashely Anderson, 31, of Marlow. A witness said he was friends with Pritchard for several years, and on Feb. 9, they were installing a heater in the living room of Prithcard’s home at 2496 N. U.S. 81 and all appeared normal.
He said Pritchard called him on Feb. 11 and he missed the call, calling her back later. He said when he talked to her, Pritchard said that Anderson was dead after she backed over her with her vehicle, the affidavit states. She told him she’d hit a golf cart that was in the area and later found Anderson lying on the ground in the area where she’d hit the golf cart. She told him she’d drug Anderson into the house where she’d been ever since. Pritchard told him she thought Anderson was cold and she was trying to warm her up.
The witness said he told Pritchard to call law enforcement. He said Pritchard told him that Anderson doesn’t have any relatives she communicates with and said she was acting “nervous and scared,” according to the affidavit.
Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, along with district attorney investigators came to the home. Pritchard allowed a search of the grounds and during the search, hundreds of caged dogs were found in unsafe conditions, the affidavit states. That’s when Anderson was found lying face down on the floor, wrapped in a blue plastic tarp inside a metal shipping container secured with a padlock. The tarp was wrapped with a rope on one end.
Pritchard told investigators she’d gotten into an argument with Anderson about not taking care of the dogs. She said she fired Anderson and told her to leave, the affidavit states. Pritchard said she’d been letting Anderson stay at the residence in a trailer.
A physical altercation resulted with Pritchard telling Anderson to leave. Pritchard said the next day, Anderson returned and was acting “psychotic” and they got into a fight. According to the affidavit, Pritchard told Anderson to get in a truck and told her to get out once they got to a gate. She said Anderson began hitting herself with a pipe. After “flipping her out of the truck,” Pritchard said she went to check on the dogs and the two women continued arguing. Pritchard said she heard a noise and Anderson jumped back into the truck and she told her to get out.
Pritchard said Anderson was “acting like a nut,” and jumped out of the truck. Pritchard told Anderson to get up but she wouldn’t. According to the repot, she grabbed Anderson by the shirt and ended up pulling it off by accident. Anderson continued to lay on the ground and began to shake.
When the witness showed up, Pritchard said they put Anderson onto a sheet and carried her into the home where the heat was not working, and it was 19 degrees on Feb. 10.
Pritchard said she tried to wake Anderson up but she wouldn’t and she “freaked out,” the affidavit states. She later put Anderson’s body into the container where she was found. Pritchard said she didn’t call an ambulance because she thought Anderson was fine and when she realized she was dead, she didn’t know what to do with the body, the affidavit states.
While investigators were at the scene, 165 puppies and dogs were found in what were called unhealthy conditions. According to the affidavit, numerous dogs were found in outbuildings that had “an overbearing smell of ammonia, the floors were covered in feces and the water for the dogs was frozen.” Most of the dogs’ hair was matted and covered with feces and several animals appeared ill in the elements that were in the teens temperature-wise.
Pritchard is being held on $1 million bail. She returns to court at 9 a.m. April 14 for her preliminary hearing conference, records indicate
Written by Scott Rains: email@example.com.