Snakebite results in charges


The Annapolis man whose pet cottonmouth snake bit his girlfriend last week was charged late Thursday with reckless endangerment and importing a venomous snake into the state.

Devin D. Conley, 29, told Maryland Natural Resources Police that the snake was roaming free in his house "to get some exercise" when it emerged from newspapers on a coffee table and sank its fangs into Jacqueline L. Lee's left thumb.

"It was a dumb thing to do," Conley told police, according to charging documents. He said he brought the snake from Florida in the fall.

Lee, a 21-year-old Annapolis resident, was rushed to Anne Arundel Medical Center late March 5, where she was given antivenin. She said her left arm was badly swollen and her thumb was covered in a blood blister.

She was released Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Conley was arrested late Thursday, said John Surrick, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. He was released on his own recognizance yesterday after a bail review hearing. His bail originally had been set at $50,000.

Because he had experience with poisonous snakes - and had been bitten several times himself - he was not too concerned about the dangers of a cottonmouth, charging documents state.

Conley told police he had no other snakes at the home, but that he does have a three-foot lizard that roams free. No other details on the lizard were available.

Lee said last week that she will continue to date Conley.

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