Saturday, March 02, 2013

Constitutional Issue Avoided In Preacher's Guilty Plea For Possessing Poisonous Snakes

In a Tennessee trial court last Monday, James Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing poisonous snakes. According to UPI, Coots, whose church engages in the practice of snake handling, legally acquired the snakes in Alabama and was driving through Tennessee taking the snakes to Kentucky where they are also legal to possess. Tennessee police discovered the snakes when they pulled Coots over for having too darkly tinted windows in his car.  Coots lawyer says he believes seizing the snakes was unconstitutional. However, apparently in a plea deal, Coots received only one-year probation in exchange for his guilty plea.