Snake-handling pastor dies after refusing treatment for bite
Jamie Coots had appeared on US TV promoting snake-handling church services
A snake-handling preacher from the US state of Kentucky died on Saturday (EST) after he reportedly refused medical treatment for a bite.
According to Middlesboro Police Department, the emergency services were called at about 8:30pm on Saturday to respond to a snake-bite victim at a church.
When the ambulance arrived, they were told that Jamie Coots had gone back to his home in Middlesboro, Kentucky. When they arrived at his house, he refused medical treatment for a snakebite wound on his right hand.
Emergency workers left around 9:00pm and when they returned an hour later, Mr Coots was dead.
Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe confirmed in a statement that Mr Coots refused treatment or being taken to hospital despite being warned of the dangers.
Before he died, Mr Coots had appeared in a National Geographic television programme called Snake Salvation, which told the story of Pentecostal preachers who defy the law and use serpents as part of their religious services.
The show revealed how snake-handling, which is illegal in most places, is practiced as a test of faith and guided by the theory that true believers will not be harmed.
See Pastor Coots handling snakes at a service in 2011
It is particularly popular in parts of Appalachia. Middlesboro lies near the junction of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and is about 60 miles (100 km) north of Knoxville, Tennessee.
YouTube videos credited to pastorcoots2012 depict serpent handling services at Mr Coot’s former Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church, where congregation members dance to music with snakes in the arms.
He also appeared on ABC's Nightline last year, where he said snakes had bitten him nine times, and cost him a part of a finger.
“If the Bible told me to jump out of an airplane, I would,” he said on the show.
About a year ago, Coots was charged in Tennessee with illegally possessing poisonous snakes.
As part of a plea deal, he surrendered the snakes and his sentence of just under a year in jail was suspended, according to local media.
Additional reporting by Reuters and AP
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£300 - £400 per day: Argyll Scott International: I am currently recruiting on ...
£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Field Based Sales Surveyor is...
£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...
£270 - £300 per annum: Investigo: An exciting opportunity to join an internati...