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Funeral for snake-handling pastor

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:06

Feb. 19 - Family and friends gather to say goodbye to snake-handling Kentucky pastor who died after he was bitten by a rattlesnake during church services. Linda So reports.

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Outside the Kentucky funeral home where family and friends gathered to say goodbye to snake-handling pastor Jamie Coots, a large crowd gathers to give him a dignified farewell. SOUNDBITE: PETER HELMAN, MIDDLESBORO CATHOLIC PRIEST, SAYING: "More than anything I want space to be given to the family to grieve and also to celebrate the life of someone they loved and cared for." Supporters of Pastor Coots lined the sidewalks after hearing protesters from Westboro Baptist Church might show up, but they never did. SOUNDBITE: DOUG BAYLESS, VETERAN, SAYING: "We've got about ten of these American flags so any protest signs they bring we've got a right to be there too so we're going to cover them up. We're not going to get violent." Coots died over the weekend after he was bitten by a rattlesnake during his Saturday service at his Kentucky church. He refused medical treatment after the attack and died an hour later. SOUNDBITE: PETER HELMAN, MIDDLESBORO CATHOLIC PRIEST, SAYING: "Jamie, a very faithful believing person and I don't think anyone has a monopoly on truth, and should be given a right to worship as they feel called and led." Coots had been handling snakes as part of his ministry for the past 20 years. His family says he survived at least eight other snake bites before the one that finally killed him.

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Funeral for snake-handling pastor

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:06