Preacher gives up snakes, gets probation

Posted Friday, Mar. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A snake-handling Kentucky preacher has gone back home from a Tennessee courtroom without his venomous serpents.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Jamie Coots pleaded guilty Monday to illegally having poisonous snakes that were confiscated after a traffic stop in Knox County, Tenn., on Jan. 31.

Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of transporting the snakes, and wildlife officials agreed to give back the boxes that Coots was using to carry the snakes from Alabama to his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, Ky. Coots will be on unsupervised probation for a year.

Coots' lawyer, Christopher Jones of Chattanooga, said Coots wanted to avoid going through a long legal process but still believes Tennessee's law barring him from transporting the snakes on his way back to Middlesboro is unconstitutional.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?