Special prosecutor appointed in Acker case

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Pell City district attorney will prosecute a case involving a former Alabaster teacher who has been charged with molesting two girls over a 25-year period.

Minor

On Jan. 9, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange sent a letter to 30th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Richard Minor appointing Minor to the case. The 30th Judicial Circuit is based in Pell City and covers St. Clair County.

The appointment came three days after Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens successfully requested he be recused from prosecuting the case of Daniel Acker Jr., who was arrested Jan. 4 and has been charged with four counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

Police said Acker molested a fourth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School in 2009 and an 11-year-old girl at her house sometime over the past several years.

Owens said he asked to be recused from prosecuting Acker’s case because of his relationship with Acker’s father. Danny Acker Sr. is a longtime Shelby County commissioner, and the commission funds Owens’ office, Owens said.

During Acker Jr.’s case, Minor will act with “all of the authority of a district attorney of the (Shelby County) 18th Judicial Circuit,” Strange wrote in a letter to Minor.

“I appreciate your serving in this capacity, and I am confident you will render a valuable service to the citizens of Alabama,” Strange wrote.

The same day Owens asked to be recused, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves also submitted a request to be removed as the judge presiding over Acker’s case.