updated 11/21/2005 5:48:12 PM ET 2005-11-21T22:48:12

A recluse who kept his dead mother in his freezer and shot at his neighbors when they came to his door was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

Philip Schuth, 53, was sentenced for attempted homicide, reckless endangerment and concealment of a corpse.

Schuth told investigators that his mother died of natural causes in 2000, and an autopsy confirmed that. Schuth, who never had held a real job, said he hid her death because he was afraid authorities would blame him and because he wanted to keep collecting her Social Security checks.

He was arrested in April after an all-night standoff with police at his house on French Island, which lies in the Mississippi River just outside La Crosse. The standoff began when Schuth shot at a couple and their 10-year-old son after they confronted him over whether he had hit the boy.

During negotiations with police, Schuth said he had his dead mother in a freezer in the basement. Officers found her encased in a block of ice.

“Obviously it’s a very serious crime. On the other hand, he had some unique issues in his upbringing that contributed to it which are probably treatable,” District Attorney Scott Horne said, referring to Schuth’s isolated childhood and hermit-like existence as an adult. “We all learned how to deal with minor conflicts because we’re taught and brought up to do that. He wasn’t.”

Schuth has said he fantasized about being married to “Alias” star Jennifer Garner. At his sentencing, he said: “I apologize to Jennifer Garner and her pool boy Ben Affleck for involving them in my fantasies.”

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