Woman Gets Probation, Fine for Skull

Fort Lauderdale, USA - A Haitian woman was sentenced Friday to two years of probation and fined $1,000 for carrying a human skull in her luggage into the United States.

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn also ordered Myrlene Severe, 30, to find a job, her attorney Kenneth Hassett said.

Severe practices Voodoo and believed the skull would provide protection, Hassett said.

"It's for her safety," Hassett said. "All of us has something unusual in our religions."

The remains were found when Severe, a permanent U.S. resident, arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in February from Haiti. She told authorities she intended to use it as part of her Voodoo beliefs.

A plea deal allowed her to plead guilty in April to a misdemeanor charge of improper storage of human remains.

"She's happy with the result and she'd like to move on with her life," Hassett said. "She would like to become a U.S. citizen. She will continue her belief."