MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The trial of a Mobile pastor accused of sex abuse got underway with jury selection and opening statements on Monday, October 15.
In addition to serving as a pastor, Cederick McMillian was also president of the Prichard Chamber of Commerce and the former headmaster of Prichard Preparatory School when he was indicted in 2011 for allegedly having sexual conduct with his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
The majority of Monday was spent picking jurors. Once they were seated, testimony started. The case centered on how old the alleged victim was at the time.
McMillian was in the courtroom Monday to face trial on charges of sodomy and sexual assault. His attorney, Jeff Deen, said he is having trouble coping with the situation.
"Very nice client, fine gentleman, well-educated, well-spoken. He's brokenhearted about the whole thing," said Deen.
The day started with dozens of potential jurors being questioned. When it ended, the chosen few took to their seats in Judge Michael Youngpeter's courtroom.
"Good group of folks," said Deen.
According to Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson, McMillian was in a relationship with his stepdaughter.
"Definitely a relationship that the state alleges began when she was 14 years of age, which was discovered by the mother when she was 17," said Patterson.
The defense tells a different tale. Deen said they disagree with the prosecution on "when they think things happened."
Patterson says there is no DNA evidence in this case, so they will rely on witness testimony, including the victim's, and other evidence to prove their case.
"We think, during the course of the trial, our version will prevail," said Deen.
Whether the victim was over the age of 16 will be the main focus of the trial, according to Patterson.
"Sixteen is the age of consent in Alabama," said Patterson.
It will be up to a jury of 12 of McMillian's peers to decide. Judge Youngpeter said he hopes to have a verdict as early as tomorrow.
The trial for Giuseppe Pino LoPorto continues today in Baldwin County. LoPorto, now 80-years-old, faces several sex abuse charges against a child dating back to the early 90s.
FOX10 News has learned William "Eddie" Patrick, captain of Mobile's First police precinct, has been demoted following an internal investigation.
A man who bought a bicycle three weeks ago finds out it was originally stolen, according to the original owner who reported it missing in October.
If you were in the Foley area Thursday, you may have seen a helicopter, police and K-9 units. That’s because a store in Foley was robbed this morning at gunpoint. Eventually, the search was called off. The suspect is still on the loose.
Pastor of Lifeway Community Church Mike McPherson says thieves stole presents that would have been given to needy children.
Skies are mostly clear and the breezy north wind is very noticeable this evening. Daytime highs were only in the mid 50’s today. We are expecting a light freeze tonight along and north of I-10. Lows will be near 32 degrees in Mobile. Upper 20’s are possible well inland.