Apr 27, 2015 4:24 PM
DOVER - The trial for a woman accused of starving a child was suspended due to a lack of judges at Strafford County Superior Court.
Peggy Starr, 57, of Nottingham, has been on trial for first degree assault over the course of the last three weeks. On Monday, she was not called to appear in court because another criminal trial is expected to begin, and Judge Steven Houran will not be available.
Strafford County Attorney Thomas Velardi said the situation is very unusual, and called the postponement a "sign of the times."
Because Starr is free on bail, and the other person to be tried is incarcerated, court officials had to schedule his trial over Starr's.
Starr took the stand in her own defense last week, and was not able to finish her testimony, Velardi said.
According to witnesses that have already testified in the case, Starr and her daughter kept the boy in a dog kennel and chained him to a bunk bed, while he and his mother stayed with them in New Durham from 2008 to 2010.
Starr was also heard hitting the boy after a visit to the doctor's office, according to a woman who worked there.
When the state stepped in and took the child away, he was 6-years-old and weighed just 23 pounds.
Starr's daughter, Christina Thomas, is serving up to 30 years in prison for her involvement in the child's abuse. If convicted, Starr could be sentenced to the same fate, and faces a $4,000 fine.
A clerk at the courthouse said the trial will continue, but a date has not yet been selected.
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