MOBILE, Ala. (CBS/AP) Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine was indicted Monday morning for the murder of his alleged mistress Angel Downs and surrendered to authorities in front of multiple news cameras Monday afternoon.
Baldwin County authorities announced Monday that Nodine is their only suspect in the May 9 murder of Downs in front of her Gulf Shores, Ala. home, about 50 miles south of Mobile. Nodine is also accused of abusing Downs during their alleged extramarital affair.
"There was a history there," Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack told reporters. "I think it escalated that night. I think the evidence is going to show that there was a confrontation, and the result of that confrontation ended in Ms. Downs being shot and subsequently dying. I think that the state will be able to prove that."
Downs was shot once in her head in the driveway of her home. Investigators reportedly found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at the scene, but the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office has not said definitively whether that was the gun that killed Downs.
Jay Ross, Mobile County's chief attorney, told CBS affiliate WKRG that the day after Downs was found, he and county attorney Mark Erwin went to Nodine's house and removed two guns from the commissioner's home. Ross says they turned the weapons over to authorities.
"We talked to him and we found that he had some weapons there," Ross told WKRG. "We were concerned about his safety and the safety of his family because he was not in a good frame of mind at that time."
Nodine has been under scrutiny for ethics violations. He was indicted by a Mobile County grand jury Jury May 14, just five days after the murder, on multiple ethics charges. The grand jury also recommended that Nodine step down as commissioner .
The indictment accuses him of abusing Downs, misusing county property and funds and fraudulently purchasing more than 2,400 Lortab painkillers from nine pharmacies in four states, according to the Mobile Press-Register.
He has also been criminally charged in Mobile County with second-degree possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has denied all charges, the paper reported.
"Steve Nodine is not guilty," Nodine's attorney, Dennis Knizley, told WKRG. "He has not shot anyone. He has not killed anyone, and he was not present when anyone was shot."
Nodine remains in the Bay Minette jail on $500,000 bail and is expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon to answer the murder charges. Nodine's impeachment hearing has been scheduled for June 8.