Trial for sex abuse suspects pushed to 2015

Carl Herold and Charles Dunnavant face sodomy and sexual abuse charges. (Source: Metro Jail)
Carl Herold and Charles Dunnavant face sodomy and sexual abuse charges. (Source: Metro Jail)

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The sex abuse and sodomy trial against a Huntsville man and his domestic partner has been pushed back to early next year.

Carl Herold and Charles Dunnavant are accused of holding a child captive in their Huntsville home for eight months and continually abusing the victim sexually.

The trial was expected to begin in August, but on Wednesday, the judge decided to move that date to early 2015. Another court hearing to sort out pending matters is set for November to make sure the trial begins soon afterward. One reason revealed for the push is that the child in the case is currently undergoing therapy and treatment.

"We have to look at the best interests of the victim, the alleged victim in this case, and what his counseling is, and whether or not he'll be ready and able to testify at the time the court needs to pull this in for trial," said prosecutor Gabrielle Helix.

Both men let their attorneys do all the talking. The judge denied Dunnavant's request for a bond reduction, after the prosecution argued he is a danger to society and a flight risk.

Herold and Dunnavant are in the Madison County Jail on million-dollar bonds.

After the hearing, Herold told our cameras that he loved the child very much. His attorney said Herold had no further statement to make.

Prosecutors said after a federal investigation into Herold and Dunnavant, officials learned about a third person's involvement in the Madison County allegations.

Little information was released, but court documents reveal that person as Mark Bedwell. It is unclear where Bedwell is, or if he is in custody. Prosecutors told the judge they'd like to have Bedwell join Dunnavant and Herold for trial.

"We do believe he will be extradited into our community at some point in time, but that is a federal issue," said Helix.

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