ST. PAUL, Minn. - A White Bear Lake woman cannot come within one mile of her home after repeatedly violating a restraining order filed by neighbors who call her a "neighbor from hell."
Lori Christensen, 49, appeared in Ramsey County Court Wednesday for a hearing on charges that she violated probation by disobeying a harassment restraining order. District Judge George Stephenson extended the restraining order. She is not allowed to come within one mile of her old home.
Stephenson noted that "people all over the country are laughing about this." He thenused strong language in rejecting her statements of not understanding that she was violating his previous orders. "Crap," he called her actions. When Christensen attempted to interrupt him, Stephenson warned her that she was "pissing me off."
Greg and Kim Hoffman had successfully carried out a series of restraining orders again Christensen, whose house sits directly across from their front yard on a quiet cul-de-sac in White Bear Lake. The Hoffman family told NBC News that in an effort to avoid Christensen, they have become prisoners in their own backyard. They have accused Christensen of multiple offenses, including aggravated stalking.
Christensen said she will abide by the ruling and never go back to the house. She will serve 90 days in jail starting Monday followed by 41/2 years of probation. Christensen indicated that she will sell the house.
Stephenson warned Christensen, "you do not want to see me again because it will not go well for you." He instructed the probation officials "do not cut her any slack."
Kim Hoffman told NBC's Craig Melvin the harassment began with shouted obscenities and that soon, Christensen "just started calling me names, swearing at me very loud. Many people in the neighborhood could hear it."
Her husband Greg said, "Many people say, 'Oh we've got a neighbor just like that,' and I say no you don't. This is different."
Prosecutors filed court documents this month listing even more allegations ofharassment by Christensen, including "verbal tirades" aimed at the Hoffman's children. According to Kim Hoffman, her neighbor "likes to intimidate them with different gestures or words."
In 2011, prosecutors say Christensen pled guilty and served more than a month in jail for a felony violation over a restraining order obtained by the Hoffmans. The year before, Christensen pled guilty to two related misdemeanors.
Kim Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for three years, said the battle has brought her family closer, though Hoffman's recovery has apparently been a target for Christensen. A home video taken by the Hoffman family shows a large hand-painted sign Christensen allegedly posted on her garage door that reads, "I saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer."
Other signs have said "Get a life," and "The guilty talk the loudest."
Christensen has also allegedly followed Kim Hoffman in her car, which makes Kim feel like she's "under constant surveillance."
Police are more than familiar with the feuding neighbors. White Bear police captain Randy Johnson said of the harassment, "It almost had a life of its own and it kept growing and growing and nobody really could put a finger on what was the initiator."
Police said that they have visited Christensen's home more than 40 times in the last two years. Most visits stemmed from calls made by the Hoffman family.
White Bear Lake Police Chief Lynne Bankes commented on Christensen's mental state. "It may be as simple as being a psychological problem and it could be as complex as just being plain mean. I don't know. I don't have the answer."
Christensen, who works as an executive assistant and is a single mother with one daughter, could not be reached for comment by TODAY. She did not comment after her sentencing on Wednesday. She told a local television station earlier this year, "I had a psychological evaluation and they said if I were to have been a man this would not have been happening but because I'm a single female...I have a very good job, I have the biggest house in the neighborhood."
Greg Hoffman was elated after the sentencing on Wednesday. "You know, I am happy on two counts. One, she will not be back in the neighborhood and secondly, that she is going to serve some time because I think she has earned it.
"I am not necessarily sure if this is going to solve it, if you want the honest God truth, but it is a step in the right direction. I did not wish this on Lori. She still has not answered the question: why? And I guess I would present her, was it worth it?"
Christensen offered no explanation for the actions regarding the Hoffman's today. She left the Ramsey County Courthouse in Saint Paulpersued bya cluster of news cameras.
White Bear Lake Police Chief Bankes offered an insight. "In 35 years of being a police officer, I have never seen anybody with such a hate for another human being. It just makes no sense to me."
"There are a lot of perplexing things about this particular case, but what we are focusing on is ultimately to make sure that there is justice for this neighborhood. I think we have accomplished that for now," said John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney.
Christensen faces felony counts of aggravated stalking. Choi declined to say when his office would pursue action on those charges.
Information fromNBC's "Today" show used in this article.