Proceedings in a child sex abuse trial in Miller County were put on hold Thursday because of a defense witness' medical emergency.
Gerald Herbert Lowery Sr., 58, is accused of molesting the daughter of a former girlfriend's roommate in a unit of the Links Apartments in Texarkana, Ark., in 2004 and 2005 when the girl was approximately 6 years old. Lowery is charged with rape and sexual indecency with a child.
A jury of six men and six women heard from witnesses testifying for the state Wednesday. The state rested its case Wednesday and the defense was expected to begin calling witnesses Thursday morning. However, the jury was told Thursday morning by Circuit Judge Carlton Jones that a defense witness became ill Wednesday evening and has been hospitalized.
After placing the jury in a prolonged recess during which the court received information on the witness' ability to testify, Jones adjourned the trial for the day. The witness is now expected to testify via Skype from the hospital Friday morning.
Among the witnesses the jury heard testimony from Wednesday were the alleged victim in the current case as well as an 11-year-old relative of Lowery's who alleged sexual abuse at his hands.
Lowery is represented by Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell. Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Connie Mitchell and Kristian Robertson are handling the state's prosecution of Lowery. Jason Mitchell and Connie Mitchell are not related.
Lowery faces five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000 if convicted of sexual indecency with a child. If convicted of rape, Lowery faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison.