TN Snake Owner Headed To Court

A snake enthusiast and three other men arrested after a fatal copperhead bite in southeastern Tennessee go to court facing misdemeanor charges of violating a ban on possessing, housing and transporting wildlife that is native to the state.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Dan Hicks said before the Wednesday hearing that “it is against the law to hold any native species as a pet in Tennessee.”

Gate City, Va., snake collector and dealer Chuck Hurd faces charges related to officers confiscating his poisonous snakes after the Jan. 29 death of Wade Westbrook in East Ridge. Westbrook was bitten by a copperhead he was handling.

No charges are related to the fatal bite.

Michael Roger Clark and Derek Lee Schrader of Chattanooga and Timothy Lunsford of East Ridge are also charged.