Thursday, July 31, 2008


This undated photo provided by Mobile County (Ala.) Sheriff's office shows Anthony Hopkins. Police believe a body found in a small-time evangelist's home freezer is his wife and a mother of eight, and arrested him on a murder charge as he preached at a south Alabama church. Anthony Hopkins, 37, was being held in the Mobile County jail Wednesday awaiting a bond hearing and appointment of an attorney. (AP Photo/Mobile County Sheriffs Office)

Anthony Hopkins appeared in court Thursday to face murder, rape and incest charges.

Anthony Hopkins was arrested after he delivered his sermon at the Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God.

The Hopkins home is surrounded by police tape after a body was found in the freezer.

Preacher killed wife, stuffed body in freezer, police say.

(CNN) -- An evangelical preacher killed his wife several years ago and stuffed her body in a freezer after she caught him abusing their daughter, according to police and court documents.

Anthony Hopkins, 37, was arrested Monday night at the Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Jackson, Alabama, just after he had delivered a sermon to a congregation that included his seven other children, officials said.

He faces charges including murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and incest.

Hopkins was denied bail Thursday when he appeared before Mobile County District Judge George Hardesty. The case is set for arraignment next week, Hardesty's clerk said.

The case began Monday, when the daughter, now 19, went to the Mobile Police Department's Child Advocacy Center and reported that she had been sexually abused by Hopkins since she was 11 years old, according to an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant of the preacher's home in Mobile.

The affidavit related the daughter's story as follows:

Her mother, Arletha Hopkins, 36, caught her father abusing her in a bathroom in November 2004. Afterward, her parents argued, and her mother locked her father out of the house. The father came to the daughter's window and asked her to let him in, and she did so.

The next morning, her father asked her to help him hide her mother's body in the freezer in the laundry room of the home.

The girl said she moved out of the home about two weeks ago and was living with a neighbor. She told police that her mother's body was still in the freezer.

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