Preliminary hearing set for Daniel Acker

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A longtime Alabaster teacher who has been charged with several counts of molesting girls will appear in the Shelby County Courthouse on March 7 at 2:30 p.m. for a preliminary hearing.

Daniel Acker Jr.

Daniel Acker Jr., who has been charged with six counts of sexual abuse and currently is being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $745,000, will appear before St. Clair County District Court Judge Alan Furr.

Furr has been appointed by Alabama Chief Justice Charles Malone to handle the initial stages of Acker’s case. If a grand jury returns an indictment against Acker, the case will move to Circuit Court, and will be handled by St. Clair County Circuit Court Presiding Judge James Hill.

During a preliminary hearing, a district attorney attempts to present enough evidence to prove there is probable cause the defendant committed the crime in Shelby County, according to Alabama law.

As of Feb. 16, the Shelby County Circuit Court clerk’s office confirmed Acker’s 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.