|Updated: 1/07/2010 8:32 am
||Published: 1/06/2010 8:15 pm
A pastor of one of the largest African-American churches in central Arkansas appeared in court Wednesday. Eric Alexander of St. Luke Baptist Church faces charges he beat his ex-wife outside the church last month.
Alexander had no comment after leaving an order of protection hearing. With his attorney and supporters by his side, Alexander, pastor of the 1800 member church, left the court hearing Wednesday afternoon.
“He doesn't want to say nothing," the attorney and supporter said as Alexander kept quiet. One supporter acted as a bodyguard, even attempting to block us from getting a picture of Alexander inside the courthouse.
Wednesday, a judge granted Alexander's ex-wife an extended order of protection.
"I feel that no man should ever put his hand on a woman,” said Frederick Gilmore. Gilmore's sister is Pastor Alexander's ex-wife. He says it shocked him when Jacksonville Police arrested the pastor last month on accusations Alexander hit his ex-wife in front of church members and their 10-year-old daughter.
"Her eye was red on the inside, black on the outside right here and this part of her eye was swollen,” Gilmore pointed and explained.
"I'm a man of the cloth. If something takes place to some extent as this has taken place, I think it would be more honorable for that man to step down to see where he is and then make adjustments. I just hope that justice prevails,” Gilmore added.
After court, Pastor Alexander told FOX16 he is concerned about how this incident is being portrayed to the public. When we again offered him a chance to tell his side of the story, Alexander said he just isn't ready.
In the police report, Alexander's ex-wife claims he hit her in the face repeatedly. Alexander denies the allegations, saying she actually hit him after he asked her to leave the church. The pastor will appear in court on March 3rd on the third degree domestic battery charges.