Police say that a man tried to fake his own death in order to avoid trial on charges he molested his fiance's 12-year-old daughter. However, on Wednesday of last week, he was convicted of those molestation charges.
Superior Court Judge Paschal English sentenced 40-year-old Julian Dale Pipkins to 20 years in prison for each charge of sexual molestation and for statutory rape.
In November of last year, one of Pipkins' lawyers came to court and told Judge English that his client had drowned in a fishing accident near Galveston, Texas, just days before his trial for molesting his fiance's 12-year-old daughter was about to begin.
However, Peachtree City Police Chief Jim Murray says that Pipkins' 16-year-old son recanted his story and told them his father made the whole thing up and was hiding somewhere in northern Texas.
Pipkins was arrested one month later in Miami, where he was found to be living in a homeless shelter and working as a day laborer.
Chief Murray says that Pipkins is now headed to Texas where he will face additional charges that include the claims he faked his death.