In 1992, snake handler and Pentecostal minister Glenn Summerford was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, Darlene Summerford. According to her testimony, he had forced her hand inside the cage of the rattlesnakes they owned for the purpose of religious ceremonies in an attempt to have her bitten.
Because of the crime, Glenn Summerford is the subject of HBO's documentary Alabama Snake and viewers are likely wondering where he is now. He is depicted in the documentary as being a man of God and a snake handler who sought religious direction by using snakes, or serpents, which are believed to hold the power of Satan. Glenn Summerford is also shown as a jealous man and his actions speak volumes about that.
Where is Glenn Summerford now?
After Glenn Summerford was convicted of attempted murder, he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Now, in 2020, he is still incarcerated. Before that, he was a known serpent handler, and, at the time of his conviction, his congregation at the Church of Jesus With Signs Following strongly believed he was innocent. In their eyes, his wife had been evil and the snake attacked her for the appropriate reasons.
In some Pentecostal churches, snake handling is known to aid pastors in invoking God and working to heal and help members of the congregation. Because of the danger associated with handling the snakes, however, it’s a practice that is outlawed in Tennessee and Kentucky. It hasn't always stopped church leaders from doing it, though, and most accept the risks associated with snake handling.
The former pastor's wife in 'Alabama Snake' testified against him.
Luckily, Darlene Summerford was able to escape when Glenn Summerford forced her hand into the snake cage and she sought help. Glenn Summerford claimed she cheated on him and that was his reason for taking her to the snake cage. But she later testified that he wanted to marry another woman, so according to her, he figured the easiest way to do that was for her to die.
"He took a pipe and hit the cages real hard, so the snakes got real mad and then grabbed me by the hair and said he would push my face in there if I didn’t stick my hand in there," she said in court. "He said I had to die because he wanted to marry another woman."
Regardless of the fact that both of them denied having extramarital affairs or ideas of them, Glenn Summerford was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to prison.
Glenn Summerford tried escaping from prison once.
In 2003, at the age of 58, Glenn Summerford escaped prison during a work detail assignment. 45 minutes later, he was recaptured and later transferred to the state prison. As a result, he was given another 30 years on his previous prison sentence to be served consecutively. In 2020, he’s still incarcerated at the Bullock County Correctional Facility in Alabama.
Will Glenn Summerford be up for parole at some point?
In June 2020, Glenn Summerford was denied parole. But, never say never for the former Church of Jesus With Signs Following pastor. He will be up for review again before February 2021. At the age of 76, however, there’s a good chance he could spend his remaining years behind bars.