Trial in Venezuela for imprisoned East TN Marine veteran to begin


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The trial for Union County native and U.S. Marine veteran Matthew Heath, who has remained imprisoned in Venezuela since September 2020, is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Matthew Heath’s story in Venezuela began more than a year ago, when he was arrested after being accused of being a terrorist spying for former President Donald Trump. Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s office tells us Heath suffered injuries in prison and his family is concerned.

Heath’s family said they do not know what led up to his arrest, but they believe he was an American citizen in the wrong place at the wrong time and was taken advantage of while trying to get back home; he had experienced delays in his sailing trip due to the pandemic last year prior to his arrest.

Rep. Fleischmann is continuing to work with congressional and administration partners to bring Heath home.

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