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Jamie Coots
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Religious Figure
    (November 17, 1971-February 15, 2014)
    Born in Middlesboro, Kentucky
    Pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus' Name Church
    Snake handler
    Featured in the National Geographic Channel reality show 'Snake Salvation' (2013)
    Died after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a service
    A 28-year old woman died after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a service he led (1995).
    Her relatives disputed his claim that she voluntarily refused medical treatment after the bite.
    He was arrested for illegally keeping 74 poisonous snakes at his home (2008).
    He was sentenced to a year of probation for illegal wildlife transportation after crossing into Tennessee with five venomous snakes (2013).
    When paramedics arrived at his house, he refused medical treatment for the fatal bite.
    He suffered perhaps the least surprising death in history.
    After the 1995 death, prosecutors charged him with violating a state law against snake handling, but a judge declined to pursue the case.
    The judge said he might have proceeded if he though the case would serve as a deterrent, but noted 'This practice is not going to stop until either rattlesnakes or snake handlers become extinct.'
    After his 2008 arrest, he got a license to own poisonous snakes.
    He was committed to his beliefs.
    He had been bitten by venomous snakes eight times previously and survived.
    An expert on the sect noted, 'They would argue that the most important thing is to die being obedient to god. So they can mourn the loss of a loved one, but simultaneously be confident that they are in heaven. It’s kind of a win-win situation, as far as they see it.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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