Society

Slithering Evidence Could Be Submitted In 'Snake House' Case

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
rat snakerat snake

In December 2014, Jeff Brooks and his wife, Jody, bought a home for their family in Annapolis, Maryland. However, the family was chased out of the home by April -- because it was infested with snakes.

The story made national headlines and became something of a cautionary tale for home buyers.

A $1.5 million lawsuit against the realtor, who the couple claims knew about the snakes, is due to reach the courts in 2016, and the evidence is anything but ordinary.

Attorneys have notified the court that they may bring a live rat snake into evidence. Although it’s not venomous, it can grow up to 7 feet in length. Though it’s unclear how big the evidence will be, the Brookses claim they found a snake that size in their home. 

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The Brookses also claim realtor Barbara Van Horn, of Champion Realty Inc., knew of the snakes, which she denies. She also claims the house is inhabitable.

Van Horn’s attorneys have named witnesses who would likely testify that the snakes came into the home to search for mice, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The Brookses say the home was a hibernaculum, an established den where snakes sleep during the winter. They stated in their lawsuit that the rat snakes had tunnels from their basement to their roof.

Families who occupied the home between 2008 and 2014 have also stated that they found live snakes and traces of their presence in the home.

Neither attorney has commented on the case or its slithering evidence.

"One is allowed to bring any kind of evidence into the courthouse," court clerk Robert Duckworth said, according to The Baltimore Sun. "It's up to the judge to decide what can be entered.”

Sources: The Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons