All circuit judges recuse selves from Acker case

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

All of the Shelby County Circuit Court judges have now asked to be recused from handling the case of Daniel Acker Jr., who has been charged with molesting several girls during his 25-year teaching tenure in Alabaster.

Circuit Court Supervisor Jill Smitherman confirmed judges Bill Bostick, Hub Harrington and presiding judge Sonny Conwill submitted motions on Jan. 18 recusing themselves from handling the case. Judge Daniel Reeves, who was originally handling the case, submitted a request to be recused from handling the case two days after Acker was arrested on Jan. 4.

Because all of the county’s circuit judges have now recused themselves from the case, the case will now move on to District Court judges Ron Jackson and Jim Kramer. If the district court judges recuse themselves, the case will be handled by an outside judge.

Acker, the son of Shelby County Commissioner Daniel Acker Sr., has been charged with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse after police said he confessed to molesting more than 20 girls during his teaching tenure at several Alabaster schools.

On Jan. 10, Pell City District Attorney Richard Minor was appointed to prosecute the case, a few days after Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens asked to be recused from prosecuting Acker.

Owens said he asked to be recused from the case because of his friendship with Daniel Acker Sr. The Shelby County Commission funds Owens’ office.

Acker currently is being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $745,000.