State will appoint outside judge for Acker case

Published 10:17 am Monday, January 30, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabama Chief Justice Charles Malone will appoint an outside judge to handle the case of a former Alabaster teacher who has been charged with several counts of molesting young girls over a 25-year period.

Daniel Acker Jr.

The announcement came a few days after all of Shelby County’s Circuit Court and District Court judges recused themselves from the case, prompting the county’s presiding Circuit Court Judge Sonny Conwill to request Malone appoint an outside judge to handle the case of Daniel Acker Jr.

Acker is being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $745,000, and had been charged with six counts of sexual abuse after police said he allegedly admitted to molesting more than 20 girls during his teaching tenure in several Alabaster schools.

Shelby County Circuit Court 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.

Circuit Court judges Bill Bostick, Hub Harrington and Conwill later submitted motions recusing themselves from handling the case, followed by District Court judges Ron Jackson and Jim Kramer.

As of Jan. 30, the case was still tentatively set to be heard in the Shelby County Courthouse, although Acker’s attorneys previously said they likely will seek to move the trial venue.

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.

Acker is the son of Shelby County Commissioner Daniel Acker Sr.

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