Minister Awaits Punishment From Texas Judge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Matthews, MO

Minister Awaits Punishment From Texas Judge

Minister Awaits Punishment From Texas Judge
By: Ryan Tate

Matthews, MO - Minister Eddie Wells of Matthews faces a Texas Judge Wednesday to find out his fate. A jury found him guilty on four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child last Friday. The jury recommended Wells get 50 years in prison for each count. The judge will decide to make the sentences concurrent or stack them in some way.

Wells remains the Minister at First Christian Church in Matthews. He was named to the job a year and a half ago. It was then that Texas authorities resumed an investigation that started more than eleven years earlier.

According to a prosecutor in Midland County, Texas, Wells began sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in 1988 at their Texarkana, Arkansas home. The assaults continued when they moved to Midland, until the assaults stopped in 1992. Prosecutors say the girl notified a friend about what was going on. The friend notified state authorities. After they completed their investigation, it was assumed it got passed on to police, but that didn't happen. No one knows why.

Wells divorced the girl's mom in 1998.

In 2003, the prosecutor says Wells, along with his current wife and her daughter, wound up at the family reunion of his ex-wife and her daughter. The girl, now 24, saw Wells' new stepdaughter jump into his arms, the way she used to, and the prosecutor says all of the memories came back. She notified police, and investigators began to discover why the case wasn't followed up on back in 1992. By the time they passed the case on to prosecutors, Wells was gone. Texas Rangers found him in Matthews.

"Since he's been here he's brought young people to the Church. His wife has ministered to them, he ain't done nothing but help the Church," Roger Flanigan said. Flanigan is a Church Elder. "When we first found out it hurt. We had no reason to doubt him."

Flanigan says some church members are in Texas with Wells. Flanigan says if Wells was allowed to come back, he would certainly be a member of his congregation.

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