Sheriff: Sex abuse suspect dies
Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2007
By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
A part-time preacher accused of sexual abuse of a minor died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday, law enforcement authorities said.
Stephen Lyle Whittaker, 39, of Scott Street in Brewton died just before noon near Evergreen.
Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin Booker said his officers found Whittaker's body after responding to a call received at about 11:20 on Tuesday morning.
Booker said Whittaker left a note that was meant for his wife, and the department was in the process of getting that letter to her Tuesday afternoon.
The death apparently occurred at the home of Whittaker's father on Terrell Lane off County Road 41 near Evergreen, Booker said.
Whittaker turned himself in to Brewton Police following allegations of his abuse against an 11-year-old girl. He was arrested and charged on March 13 with first-degree sexual abuse, Brewton police said.
At the time of his death, Whittaker was free on $50,000 bond.