The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 2, 2012

Nichols guilty of raping grandchild

A Limestone County jury on Thursday convicted an Elkmont grandfather of raping his 14-year-old granddaughter following a three-day trial in Limestone County Circuit Court.

The 12-member jury received the case against Austin Nichols Jr., 58, of 26821 Clem Road, Thursday afternoon and reached a guilty verdict before 5 p.m. on three counts of first-degree rape.

Nichols was accused of raping his granddaughter on three separate occasions in the summer and fall of 2009 when she was 14. The victim, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, was living with her grandparents, father and uncle at the grandparents’ Clem Road mobile home at the time. She now lives elsewhere with her father and stepmother.

Nichols, who has been a builder, landscaper and evangelist minister, had denied the allegations.

Circuit Judge Jimmy Woodroof Jr. will sentence Nichols at a later date.

District Attorney Brian Jones was pleased with the outcome.

“I would like to thank Jim Ayers and the staff of the District Attorney’s Office for their hard work on this case and for the hard work, professionalism and dedication of the investigators from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department,” he said. “I would also like to thank the jurors for their service, their attention and their upholding the rule of law in our society. Without them, our judicial system could not function.”

Jones added that in this age of crime scene investigation, it is difficult to try a case that has been pending since 2009 with no physical evidence or forensic testimony.  

First-degree rape is a Class A felony punishable by 10 to 99 years in state prison and a fine up to $20,000. 

Sister testifies

The sister of the accused, Linda Gali, 50, of Ardmore, testified Thursday Nichols had sexually molested her and once raped her as a child in Chicago.

Text Only
Local News
Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee