By Patsy R. Brumfield
TUPELO – February is now the earliest possible time for trials for state Rep. Brian Aldridge of Tupelo and his parents accused of stealing from a relative’s estate.
They were indicted June 28 on embezzlement charges stemming from the loss of more than $552,000 from the accounts of Florence Aldridge, who gave her power of attorney to her brother-in-law, Louis Aldridge, when she became ill in 2005.
Louis Aldridge is Brian Aldridge’s father and was married to Janice Aldridge until last November, when they divorced.
Their cases were among the first on a docket call Monday when the November circuit court term began in Tupelo.
The Mississippi attorney general’s office is prosecuting the criminal case.
Spokesman Jan Schaeffer said Monday that the three cases are continued until the next term of court, which is February.
No definite trial date is set, she added.
The Aldridges were involved with the nonprofit Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., for which Brian is CEO, and to which some of Florence Aldridge’s money was funneled.
Other withdrawals from her accounts were for lavish trips, vehicles and cash.
Each has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.
During October, Circuit Judge James L. Roberts Jr. denied a motion by Brian Aldridge’s attorney, Brent McBride, to dismiss the charges or quash the indictment.
McBride argued that a criminal prosecution against Brian amounted to trying him for the same crime twice, after a chancellor found fault with the Aldridges and awarded Florence Aldridge damages after a trial that stretched from August through December 2011.