Police Say: Body Buried before Frozen

By Gart Mcelroy

August 14, 2008

In case of preacher charged in wife's death, authorities also say family daughter is pregnant and says that he is the father

Itinerant preacher Anthony Jujuan Hopkins killed his wife and buried her in a shallow grave, but dug her up and put her in a home freezer when her bloating body began to crack the ground, police told a Mobile judge Wednesday.

Investigators testifying in Hopkins' preliminary hearing also stated that one of the family's daughters the same daughter who turned Hopkins in is five months pregnant and claims Hopkins is the father. She told police that Hopkins:

Convinced her to have sex with him eight years ago by citing Old Testament passages.

Killed her mother, Arletha, by strangulation four years ago during an argument.

Hid Arletha's body in some woods near Semmes, later moving it to church property in Clarke County. When the ground there began to crack, Hopkins made the daughter help him move her mother's body to the freezer in the family's home in Mobile.

As the daughter was leading police last month to her mother's body, Hopkins was preaching a sermon in Jackson.

Approached by police there, Hopkins asked what was up, according to Wednesday's testimony.

They told him that they were there about a body being found in a freezer.

"Oh, st!" Hopkins exclaimed, said Mobile police investigator Kent Quinnie.

By the time Hopkins' preliminary hearing ended before Presiding District Judge Charles McKnight, the judge announced he had heard enough to send the criminal cases to a grand jury murder, sex abuse, rape, sodomy and incest.

Hopkins also spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest, responding in a cheerful tone when McKnight asked how he was doing.

"Real well, sir," Hopkins said.

As the meek-looking man with the long neck and a new coal-black beard sat at a defense table, investigators told McKnight that shortly before going to police the daughter ran away from the home she shared with Hopkins, seven siblings and the body in the freezer.

Hopkins threatened to kill the woman who took her in, investigators told the judge, and warned the daughter in a speaker-phone conversation to keep her mouth shut about what she knew.

"Don't be telling my business," he told her, then suggested that she wanted him sexually and because of that wanted her mother dead. Anything she said, he told her, would be his word against hers, according to prosecution testimony.

"Don't forget that you were involved," he warned.

Investigators told McKnight that the daughter said Hopkins persuaded her to start having sex with him by citing the story of Lot in Genesis, in which the famous Biblical figure's daughters got their father drunk and had sex with him to replenish the family seed after they left behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and his wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt.


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