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Brother's mousetrap prank leads to alleged felony assault

Washington County prosecutors said a brother-on-brother prank involving mousetraps turned hostile last week in Woodbury, leaving one brother with a busted lip and another charged with felony assault.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called Jan. 13 to a home in the 2300 block of Cascade Plaza for a report of a physical domestic between two brothers.

Police learned that the suspect, 23-year-old Matthew Joseph Nelson, had been helping place mousetraps in the house with his mother. When the mother and Nelson's 27-year-old brother began teasing him about setting a mousetrap in his bed, he got upset and went to play on a computer, the complaint states.

Nelson then decided to leave the house, so he went to his bedroom to get his keys. The complaint states that when Johnson entered his bedroom, he set off a mousetrap that had been placed behind his door - a prank his brother later admitted to staging.

Startled, Nelson threw a pillow at his brother. In return, his brother placed him in a bear hug to restrain Nelson, according to the complaint.

Nelson then allegedly punched his brother several times in the head. He later said he was defending himself, a claim his mother and brother both refuted.

The alleged assault left his brother with gash to the lip that required four stitches to close. Nelson's mother

Nelson was charged with one count of third-degree assault and one count of domestic assault, a misdemeanor.

He was arrested and taken to Washington County jail, where he was released Jan. 15 on a $5,000 conditional bail.

Nelson returns to court on Feb. 20.