updated 1/8/2008 5:19:31 PM ET 2008-01-08T22:19:31

A western Pennsylvania man who mailed a bloody cow's head to his wife's lover has been sentenced to probation and community service.

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Jason Michael Fife "understands that in a civilized society a person cannot send a severed cow's head to anybody," said his defense lawyer, Henry Hilles.

"My client did step over the line here, but one can certainly understand his frustration, given that the victim was carrying on an affair with my client's wife," Hilles said.

Authorities in Lower Pottsgrove arrested Fife and charged him with stalking, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment after he allegedly sent threatening messages and pictures to the victim between May and September 2006.

The victim received a package containing a cow's head with a puncture wound in its skull on June 1, 2006.

Police said Fife obtained the cow's head from a butcher shop, claiming he wanted the dried skull for decoration. Instead, he mailed the head frozen, so as not to alert parcel carriers to the contents, police said. The box became bloody after sitting on the victim's doorstep on a warm day.

Police were able to trace the package and threatening e-mails to Fife, court documents indicate.

Fife, 31, of Hunker, was sentenced Friday to a program for first-time offenders in which he must complete two years of probation and 50 hours of community service. If he successfully finishes the program, his record will be cleared.

Fife and his wife, who have a young child, later reconciled, Hilles said.

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