A former preacher accused of attacking another man in 2017 will stand trial on Valentine's Day.
Michael “Derek” Jones, 37, of Conway was charged with third-degree domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor, following an incident reported in the early morning hours of July 13, 2017. His charges were later upgraded to second-degree battery against certain persons, a Class D felony.
Jones, the former Sold Out Church preacher, initially was scheduled to stand trial Feb. 12 and 13. However, an unrelated capital murder case is currently scheduled to begin Monday and is expected to run through Wednesday. On Thursday, officials opted to delay Jones' trial until Feb. 14.
The 37-year-old ex-pastor has pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Mayflower Police Department responded to a physical disturbance on East Ridge Road shortly after midnight on July 13, 2017.
″[The victim] was bleeding from his head, ear, mouth, nose and elbows,” the responding officer wrote in his report. ”[The victim] informed me the pastor of his church (Michael Jones) came to his house and beat him up and fled away in a black vehicle. [The victim] was showing signs of a concussion and he advised he would like MEMS to come and check him out.”
The victim, who was taken to the Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway emergency room for treatment, told the officer he and Jones were cousins. He also said he told Jones via text message that he did not want him at his home.
According to the victim, Jones messaged him stating he was coming over to see him the night of the alleged incident.
″[The victim] advised Mr. Jones he did not want him to come to his house but Mr. Jones arrived a short time later and a verbal argument began,” the affidavit reads. ”[The victim] advised that Mr. Jones began to repeatedly hit him in the face and knocked him to the ground, pinning [the victim] down and continuing to strike him.”
After learning the victim suffered an orbital fracture, which is a traumatic injury to the bones of the eye socket, prosecutors determined the misdemeanor charge would be upgraded to a felony.
Since being charged with a felony, the ex-pastor has also been found guilty in three separate misdemeanor cases.
Jones was found guilty of a DWI on Nov. 27 in Vilonia District Court. He also was found guilty of disorderly conduct in Conway District Court on Aug. 8.
Records show the 37-year-old was found guilty in two separate misdemeanor cases in Conway District Court on Aug. 8. One case involved a disorderly conduct. The other found him guilty of one count of third-degree domestic battery three counts of third-degree assault on a family or household member.