Charges: Le Sueur man cut down dozens of neighbor’s trees

A Le Sueur man is accused of cutting down dozens of his neighbor’s trees.

Joseph Micahel Hammer, 66, was charged Monday in Le Sueur County Court with felony 1st-degree criminal damage to property.

A criminal complaint says Hammer’s neighbor had recently paid for a survey that Hammer disagreed with and had been trespassing on the neighbor’s property.

A deputy investigating the incident counted approximately 25 trees that had been cut down that police say were clearly on the neighbor’s property.  Several other trees had branches that had been cut or damaged, a chain was wrapped around one tree, and a chain and pulley system attached to another, according to the complaint.

Investigators say the trees were all cut onto the victim’s land, leaving a “mess of downed trees,” some of which had fallen into a pond on the neighbor’s property.

Police say Hammer also had several old vehicles parked on the victim’s land.

The victim provided surveillance video to police that captured Hammer walking on the victim’s driveway just after 1 a.m. on July 26, according to the complaint.

Hammer allegedly admitted he had cut down the trees and said the survey was wrong and the land where he had cut the trees down was his mother’s land. He told police he cut them down to establish a property line and denied being on the victim’s property.

Damages and costs were estimated at $27,450.


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