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Voting, firearm privileges revoked for man accused of beheading ex-girlfriend's snake

A man accused of ripping the head off his ex-girlfriend's pet snake was sentenced last month on a burglary conviction.

A 21-month prison sentence was stayed for Brian Jeffrey Schmidt, 38, provided he abides terms of a five-year probation. The Anoka man must spend a year in jail, 10th District Court Judge Tad Jude ordered. Schmidt will receive credit for 201 days already served.

Other terms of the sentence call for Schmidt to pay $450 in restitution, to serve a lifetime firearm ban and a life suspension of his voting privileges.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in April.

Prosecutors alleged Schmidt had torn the head off his ex-girlfriend's pet snake after entering her residence illegally in February.

According to a criminal complaint, the events unfolded like this:

While away from the house, the victim learned from her babysitter that Schmidt had entered the residence and was drunk.

He argued with the babysitter, who told him to leave, and then remained at the residence.

The victim - who police said had ordered Schmidt not to come to her home - returned home to find Schmidt sleeping in her bed. She agreed to drive him back to his vehicle parked at Throwback's Bar in Woodbury.

During the drive, Schmidt screamed death threats at her.

Schmidt also told the woman to expect "a nice surprise" when she returned home, which prompted her to ask what the statement meant.

"You better ... drive or else," he responded, according to the victim.

After dropping him off at the bar, he punched her car and attempted to block her exit. She escaped by backing out onto Woodlane Drive while he chased after her on foot.

The woman arrived home to find the snake's head torn off and her belongings soiled.

Bottles of lotion had been emptied into her clothing drawer and it appeared urine was on her clothes. Her cell phone was also missing.

Charges of terroristic threats and mistreatment of animals were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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