Snake-handling pastor pleads not guilty at hearing, vows religio - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Snake-handling pastor pleads not guilty at hearing, vows religious fight

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Members of the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette protest outside the courthouse in Jacksboro, where their pastor is on trial over the use of poisonous snakes in ceremonies. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel Members of the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette protest outside the courthouse in Jacksboro, where their pastor is on trial over the use of poisonous snakes in ceremonies. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel
Pastor Andrew Hamblin Pastor Andrew Hamblin

JACKSBORO, TN (News Sentinel) - A snake-handling pastor from Campbell County pleaded not guilty Friday to possessing more than 50 venomous snakes.

Andrew Hamblin, pastor of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, entered the plea during an arraignment in Campbell County General Sessions Court, which was packed.

READ MORE | Authorities cite LaFollette preacher in possession of venomous snakes

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Dec. 17.

Hamblin, 22, who appears on the National Geographic reality television show "Snake Salvation," is charged with possession of Class 1 wildlife, a species inherently dangerous to humans, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine per count.

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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