Indiana town looks at ordinance after woman is killed by python

The Benton County town of Oxford is considering restrictions on certain snakes after a woman was strangled by an 8-foot-long python in a house full of snakes.

“I think it’s almost unanimous in town that people want an ordinance” against constrictors and certain other snakes, Oxford Town Council President Randy Jones said Monday during the first meeting since the death last week of Laura Hurst.

The 36-year-old woman was found on the floor of a snake-filled home in Oxford with a python wrapped loosely around her neck. Hurst lived 20 miles away but regularly visited the house where she owned 20 of the approximately 140 snakes. None are venomous.

The snake that strangled Hurst was the only one out of its enclosure, police said.

The home is owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson, who is a snake breeder and lives next door. Munson hasn’t commented and didn’t attend the council meeting.

Council member Justin Brummett said more information is needed before Oxford takes any action, the Journal & Courier of Lafayette reported.

“I’m not going to build the gallows and hang someone publicly without informing myself first. … I’m not going to be the judge, jury and executioner,” Brummett said.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources doesn’t regulate pythons because they aren’t native to the state, according to the newspaper.

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