Fri Jul 11, 3:27 PM ET
By Steve Irsay, Court TV
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Court TV) — Nobody likes a snake in the grass. Federal prosecutors weren't too keen to get a snake in the mail, either.
An Arkansas grand jury indicted attorney Bob Sam Castleman and his son Robert, of Pocahontas, Ark., for shipping "nonmailable matter" in the form of a poisonous copperhead snake.
The grand jury found that the lawyer and his son sent the snake "with the intent to kill or injure" Albert Coy Staton when they mailed him the snake last September.
The two-foot-long copperhead survived its trip through the postal service and slithered out when Staton's wife opened the package. She called police, who came and shot the snake.
Investigators kept the snake and plan to use it as evidence at the Castlemans' trial.
Both Castlemans are charged with mailing a threatening communication and sending "nonmailable matter." The elder Castleman also is charged with witness tampering for allegedly trying to persuade an acquaintance to lie to the FBI (news - web sites) during the snake-mailing investigation.
The pair face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. An arraignment date has not yet been set.
Police reportedly have not disclosed the nature of the Castlemans' gripe with Staton. Perhaps one can infer that the snake in the mail means the relationship was, at best, s-s-s-strained.