Laurel man arrested for using shotgun to kill snake

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A Laurel man was arrested Sunday for using a shotgun to kill a snake.

Police said James Matthews Jr. was charged with violating a city ordinance that prohibits shooting any weapon, including a firearm, that can hurt someone unless a person is defending themselves or their property. Police are exempt from the law.

Mr. Matthews, 62, was arrested after police received reports of shots fired and found him in the woods behind his house with the shotgun, police said in a press release. He told officers he had used the shotgun to kill a snake.

He was also charged with illegally killing the snake.

Snakes are a protected species in Maryland and unless they are venomous it is illegal to kill them, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Police have not set a court date for Mr. Matthews.

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