Assistant District Attorney Jay Prather holds the snake he
"dispatched" on the sixth floor of the parish courthouse
A pool of jurors got an unexpectedly thrilling view of the gears of justice Friday afternoon — on the sixth freaking floor of the parish courthouse! — when a five-foot chicken snake slithered into the hallway. No lie — there was a snake on the sixth floor of the courthouse.

“Some girl looks up and sees a live snake and screams,” recalls Clerk of Court Louis Perret, who emailed photographs from the incident to local media.

The sixth floor houses the jury pool room and the district attorney’s office, and, according to Perret, Assistant District Attorney Jay Prather sprang into action and conducted his quickest prosecution ever. “Jay is a country boy — he’s not afraid of anything,” Perret says. “He goes out, hears the screaming outside, and sees that it’s a non-poisonous snake and, I think the nice way of saying it is ‘dispatched’ it — it left this world.”

Perret says he doesn’t believe someone snuck the snake into the building; rather, he guesses the snake somehow made its way into the stairwell and just started going up, adding in jest that maybe, just maybe, “this indicates that we don’t sufficiently maintain the courthouse.”

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