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People Pay Respects to Snake-Handling Pastor Bitten and Killed

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) -- People in southeastern Kentucky have been lining up to pay their respects to a snake-handling pastor who died after being bitten by a snake during a church service.

Jamie Coots was known for his role on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation," but a family friend remembered him Tuesday night for his "great faith" and tolerance of others.

Bill Bisceglia of Middlesboro told media outlets that the 42-year-old Coots didn't argue with people who didn't agree with him but maintained his own beliefs until he died.

People parked blocks away from the funeral home where visitation and a funeral service were held. Visitors said afterward the funeral home was full and lines were long.

Coots was handling a rattlesnake when he was bitten Saturday night.

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