Defense begins in Ala. preacher's murder trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A south Alabama evangelist charged with killing his wife and storing her body in a freezer for about three years has taken the stand in his own defense.

Anthony Hopkins, 39, told jurors on Friday that he found his wife dead in their home in December of 2004.

Hopkins said he wept and was too overcome with emotion to think rationally.

He said he initially buried her in a shallow grave and then stored 36-year-old Arletha Hopkins' body in a freezer so that it wouldn't decompose.

Hopkins is also charged with various sex crimes involving a child.

Hopkins, who once served in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., said he wanted to be an elite soldier because he did not want to serve with women.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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