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Arrest Made in Connection to Snakebite

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Posted by: Wyvern at Thu Feb 3 17:41:25 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Wyvern ]  
   

http://www.newschannel9.com/news/westbrook-998271-copperhead-snake.html

UPDATE: Arrest Made in Connection to Snakebite Death
February 03, 2011 12:38 PM

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has made an arrest in connection with the death of Wade Westbrook after he was bitten by a copperhead snake Jan. 29. Westbrook died from anaphylactic shock following the bite, the same thing which can kill individuals stung by a honeybee.

TWRA wildlife officers have arrested Chuck Hurd for a total of 48 wildlife violations. At a 3 pm news conference in they said he had 12 native poisonous snakes in his possession. He is charged with fours counts per snake. They believe Hurd has been illegally selling snakes since 2005. They say more charges are possible against Hurd, and others could be charged in the case as well. Hurd is scheduled for his first court appearance in Hamilton County General Sessions Court Monday, Feb. 7 at 1:30.

According to his website, Hurd is a snake expert and consultant. It is believed that he provided the snake which killed Westbrook.

There were conflicting stories of why the copperhead was at Westbrook's house in the first place.

Police said were told by Westbrook's wife, Stephanie that Westbrook's friend who only identified himself to police as "Chris," found a copperhead outdoors and brought it into Westbrook's home on Saturday night, asking Westbrook to determine the gender of the snake. It's an explanation that puzzled authorities and experts because copperheads are not known to be outdoors in this time of year. However, "Chris" told Newschannel 9 that explanation was false.

He declined to go on camera because of the ongoing investigation but said the copperhead belonged to Westbrook and that Mrs. Westbrook made up the story because she thought her husband would get in trouble.

Copperheads are illegal to possess in the state of Tennessee.


   

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