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A 20-year-old Worden man who threatened another man who tried to stop him from stabbing a squirrel was ordered into state custody Tuesday.

Lance Joseph Topel appeared before Judge Russell Fagg to be resentenced after previously admitting to violating probation for felony assault with weapon.

Topel was ordered a year ago to serve a five-year suspended sentence for the felony charge.

But Topel's chance at staying on probation ended after he admitted recently to using illegal drugs and other violations. 

On Tuesday, Topel apologized to Fagg, saying he began using drugs again after his father's death. Topel said his father missed much of his childhood because he was in prison, and he feared repeating that mistake with his own soon-to-be-born child. 

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Fagg said he would follow a joint recommendation from prosecutors and Topel's defense attorney and ordered him to serve a new sentence of nearly five years with the state Department of Corrections.

Fagg also recommended that Topel participate in a state drug treatment program.

Topel's original offense occurred on May 7, 2011, when a man in Ballantine said he saw Topel chasing a squirrel with a knife. The man asked Topel to stop, and Topel responded by threatening to kill both the squirrel and the man.

The man said Topel approached him with a switchblade knife, so he grabbed a baseball bat.

Topel fled, but he was arrested about 15 minutes later by a sheriff's deputy who saw him driving a speeding van into Ballantine while waving a baseball bat out the window.

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State courts reporter for the Billings Gazette.