February 17th, 2014
09:07 PM ET

Reality show snake-handling pastor killed by snakebite

A pastor of a Kentucky church that handles deadly snakes as part of its faith has died from a fatal snake bite.

Reality show snake-handling preacher dies - of snakebite

Jamie Coots, who passed away Saturday after refusing medical treatment had previously appeared on the National Geographic reality show "Snake Salvation."

Death by faith: Why the snake handler refused treatment

Despite the practice being illegal in every state except West Virginia, there are still over 120 snake-handling churches throughout the southeast United States.

Coots was a third-generation "serpent handler" and aspired to one day pass the practice and his church, Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, on to his adult son, Little Cody.

CNN's Erin Burnett spoke to Raplh Hood, a long-time friend of deceased Pastor Coots.

Filed under: News • Religion
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