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

Les Neuhaus, Knoxville News-Sentinel • Nov 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

JACKSBORO — 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.

A prelminary 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.

Keep reading at KnoxNews.com.