Five-foot snake in local courtroom was out of its element

(Photo courtesy of Coryell County Deputy Mike Cundiff)
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) A 5-foot snake that slithered into the Coryell County Courthouse made its way into a courtroom where a deputy found it perched right behind the judge’s bench.

A bailiff from the Coryell County Court-at-Law and another from the 52nd District Court captured the snake in the second floor 52nd District courtroom on a table next to the law books right behind Judge Trent Farrell’s bench Friday.

How it got in and where it came from is anybody’s guess but the more than a century old courthouse has been under some renovation for several weeks so perhaps through one of the windows being replaced or through a door left open by workmen.

Deputy Bill Sullivan, the regular bailiff in the district courtroom, found the serpent while straightening up after the day’s court at around 3:45 p.m. Friday and called for Cundiff “because I catch snakes all the time,” Cundiff said.

Cundiff said Sullivan was alone in the courtroom when he spied the snake.

Cundiff said he bagged the 5-foot long serpent, which he said he believes it was a chicken snake, non-venomous, but scary enough, especially when it’s completely out of its natural element.

“I grabbed it by the tail and was holding it over my head and its head was almost to the floor,” Cundiff said.

“Deputy Amberly Mathews held the trash can while I grabbed the snake with my hand and placed it in the garbage can and then Deputy Mathews held the bag and we brought it to Fauntleroy Park and let it go by the river,” Cundiff said.

Cundiff and Matthews took the snake from the courtroom just a few blocks down the street, and returned it to a more natural habitat near the Leon River in Fauntleroy park.