'Neighbor from hell' pleads guilty to violating restraining order

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 16, 2013 - 9:23 AM

Lori E. Christensen's plea deal avoids prison. She admitted videotaping White Bear neighbors.

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May 30, 2012: Lori Christensen tried to hide from the news media after her appearance in Ramsey County district court.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

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A White Bear Lake woman dubbed “the neighbor from hell” pleaded guilty Monday to violating a restraining order by videotaping her neighbor’s home and car, the latest in a long line of transgressions that have landed her in trouble.

Lori E. Christensen, 50, initially tried to evade responsibility as she accepted a plea agreement in Ramsey County District Court that avoids prison time. Christensen told Judge Judith Tilsen that she could have “inadvertently” filmed her neighbor’s home and car while using video surveillance on her own property.

Christensen has been warned to stop harassing her neighbors and has faced restraining orders and jail time. She was even barred from returning to her home, unless escorted by police.

She’s mocked neighbor Greg Hoffman’s wife, a recovering alcoholic, played with a toy remote-controlled car outside and yelled, “Drunk driver, drunk driver,” as the Hoffmans’ son celebrated his birthday, posted signs in her yard disparaging the family (one read “Fat people disgust me” and another, “I saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer”) and lifted her shirt, exposing her bra to the Hoffmans, who live across the street.

In court Monday, she admitted, again, that she got out of line.

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Karen Kugler said Christensen has previously “mucked around” with the facts.

“Do you think you’re guilty of violating your restraining order?” Tilsen said, stepping in to bring Christensen in line.

“Yes, I’m guilty,” Christensen said.

Christensen then tried to backtrack some more, saying that she thought the restraining order only applied to the people, not their property.

“You’re really being a little equivocal,” Tilsen said.

Her attorney, Gary Wolf, said earlier that Christensen videotaped herself mowing the lawn to protect herself.

Christensen has called the police and city inspectors on her neighbors dozens of times, once for an unfounded report of a car with a flat tire sitting in their driveway and another time because paper from their bin blew into her yard.

Christensen has yelled at Hoffman’s wife and once made masturbatory gestures toward Hoffman and his 8-year-old daughter, according to court documents.

Wolf told Tilsen that Christensen has been dubbed “the neighbor from hell,” and has drawn media interest from Dr. Phil, the ABC News program 20/20 and media that flew in from Australia.

Wolf likened the situation to Frankenstein.

“This is crazy,” he told the judge.

Christensen’s plea agreement calls for community service, 10 years probation, a 10-year “stay-away order” from the neighborhood and a 10-year no-contact order with the Hoffman family.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 11.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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