Grand Prairie cobra escape: Lawrence Matl sentenced

Matl's case went to a jury trial in July, and the jury found him guilty. Both sides agreed to the punishment of community supervision.

dallas — The man charged in the escape of a cobra in grand prairie two years ago has been sentenced to 15 months of community supervision, according to court records.

Lawrence Matl, 25, was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of releasing a snake from captivity, according to Dallas County court records.

Matl's case went to a jury trial in July, and the jury found him guilty. Both sides agreed to the punishment of community supervision, and Matl also agreed to not keep any reptiles, including snakes, as pets. Additionally, Matl has to pay $998 in restitution to the city of Grand Prairie over the incident, according to court documents.

Several months later, in February 2022, Matl was arrested for "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence [releasing] a regulated snake from captivity," officials said.

Officers arrested Matl on a warrant for allegedly violating Parks and Wildlife Code 43.853, a Class A Misdemeanor that involves illegally releasing a specific type of snake.

Matl blamed the ordeal on a "caging malfunction."

At the time of the initial search for the snake, Matl identified himself to reporters as Trey Mat. Neighbors said that’s another name the man regularly uses.

“I’m doing everything I can to help retrieve this snake,” Matl said back in 2021.

More coverage of the Grand Prairie cobra incident:

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