UPDATE: VA man faces 48 counts after snakebite death
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A Virginia man has been arrested in Calhoun following an investigation into the death of an East Ridge man.
Dan Hicks, spokesperson for the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, says 38-year-old Samuel Charles Hurd, of Gate City, Virginia, was arrested around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday by TWRA agents.
At the time of his arrest, Hurd was in possession of 12 venomous snakes.
Hurd now faces 48 counts related to the importation of Class 1 wildlife without a permit. Each count carries a maximum imprisonment of 11 months and 29 days and a fine of $2,500.
Twenty-six year old Wade Westbrook died Saturday after he was bitten by a copperhead that Hurd had brought to Westbrook's home. Police say Hurd brought the snake to Westbrook to check the sex of the serpent.
Hurd has been released on his own recognizance. He will appear before a Hamilton County judge Monday.