Former Snakehandling Preacher Escapes Prison Briefly

Man In Prison For Trying To Kill Wife With Snake
AP, Feb. 25, 2003

CHILDERSBURG, Ala. — A former snakehandling preacher serving a 99-year sentence for trying to kill his wife with a rattlesnake escaped briefly from a work detail.

Prison officials said Glenn Summerford, who has served about 11 years of his sentence, slipped away from the work detail for about 45 minutes Friday before being returned to custody. He then was moved from the work center at Childersburg to the state prison in St. Clair County.

Summerford, 58, was convicted of attempted murder in 1992 after his wife, Darlene, testified that he grabbed her by the hair and forced her to put her hand in a cage of rattlesnakes after hitting it with a pipe to make the snakes mad. She was bitten twice but survived. Summerford at the time handled snakes as pastor of the Church of Jesus With Signs Following near Scottsboro.

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