Military blows up mortar left for judge as a gift

By the Associated Press | August 11, 2011 | 5:45 PM EDT

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — It was the gift that came with a bang.

The wife of Mississippi Judge Charlie Vess found an 80-mm mortar shell on the couple's patio in Natchez this week. They called the sheriff's office.

The sheriff called Fort Polk, an Army base in Louisiana. It sent a bomb team to blow up the mortar at the Natchez-Adams County Airport on Wednesday.

Turns out, the judge collects military memorabilia and a friend had left the mortar as a gift.

But there was no note. The mortar isn't thought to have been live.

The sheriff's department isn't providing the name of the friend who left the mortar and consider the case closed.