Mobile, Alabama-based traveling evangelist, Anthony Hopkins, who authorities say terrorized his family while preaching the gospel was sentenced to life in prison, plus 51 years after being convicted of killing his wife and hiding her body in a home freezer for three years. Circuit Judge John Lockett imposed the sentence Thursday on Anthony Hopkins in Mobile. Assistant District Attorney Ashley Rich called Hopkins “evil of the worst kind.”
Prosecutor told jurors that Anthony Hopkins terrorized his wife and young children, isolated them and used the Bible to manipulate them. “He was the supreme commander of his own little army,” said Assistant District Attorney Jill Phillips.
After 90 ,minutes of deliberation, the jury in Mobile also found Hopkins guilty of sodomy, rape, incest and sexual abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 16.
From an April 6th, 2010 article on the Black Christian News website, prior to the trial’s conclusion:
People who heard traveling evangelist Anthony Hopkins deliver sermons in the rural Southern towns where he preached sometimes called him a psychic or even a prophet.
But prosecutors say the former soldier kept dark secrets while spreading God’s word. They accuse him of killing his wife, storing her body in a freezer for years and raping and molesting a young female relative.
Opening statements in his trial were expected to start Tuesday.
Hopkins, 39, was arrested in 2008 while preaching a rural revival in Clarke County. A teenage relative allegedly pregnant with his baby led police to the body of 36-year-old Arletha Hopkins, a mother of eight ranging in age from an infant to late teens.
Investigators say Hopkins killed his wife in 2004 after she caught him having sex with a female relative, then stuffed her body into a freezer at the Mobile home he shared with her, six children and two stepchildren.
Nicholas L. Jackson Sr., pastor of a small church in Jackson where Hopkins sometimes preached, told a local newspaper in 2008 that many who heard him considered him a prophet with psychic abilities.
“When he told you something was going to happen, you could pretty much count on it,” he said.
Then Hopkins should have seen his own sordid fate. May he rot in hell.
There’s one slightly amusing note to this tragic story: When asked if ministers should be held to a higher standard than laymen, one of the potential jurors is said to have replied “Yeah, they should practice what they preach!” Amen, brother.