MOBILE, Ala. – An Alabama evangelist who terrorized his family while impressing audiences at revivals was convicted Friday of murdering his wife and storing her body in a freezer for years.
People who heardin rural towns around the South sometimes called him a psychic or even a prophet. Yet a prosecutor told jurors that 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.
After deliberating for 1 1/2 hours, the jury in Mobile also found 39-year-old Anthony Hopkins guilty of rape, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 16.
Hopkins was arrested in 2008 while preaching at a revival on charges that he killed 36-year-old Arletha Hopkins. Authorities said they were led to the body of his wife by a teenage relative that Hopkins had abused and impregnated.
Investigators say Hopkins killed his wife in a violent fight in 2004 after she caught him having sex with the teenager. They said he then stuffed the wife's body into a freezer at the Mobile home he shared with her, the couple's six children and two of her children from a previous relationship.