An Atmore woman, who last week obtained an order of protection against abuse against former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine, has also sworn out a criminal complaint against him, charging that he has stalked and harassed her in her hometown.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks confirmed Friday, October 20, that Nodine and his attorney have been advised of the warrant, which was sworn by Nodine’s former girlfriend, Tina Canterbury. The police chief said he was a little surprised at the new turn of events.
“A female visited the police department early on Wednesday (October 18) and reported a domestic violence-harassing communications by text or email,” Brooks said. “She must have gone straight to the (Escambia County) courthouse to get a protective order, because one of Steve Nodine’s associates called and asked if anybody had filed (a criminal complaint) on Nodine. I thought he was still in prison. I confirmed that a warrant had been signed.”
The former commissioner, who now lives in Jupiter, Fla., was reportedly out of the immediate area when he learned of his imminent arrest. Brooks said Monday afternoon that Nodine had not yet surrendered for processing, although Brooks said he had “met with Nodine’s lawyer.”
“(Nodine) said he would turn himself in next week,” Brooks said on Friday. “I’m sure he’ll come in. I don’t know him but I’m looking forward to seeing him. When he comes in, he will be arrested and be allowed to bond out.”
Canterbury sought the protective order and the criminal complaint against her former boyfriend, who was accused of the 2010 murder of his former girlfriend, Angel Downs. Downs was found dead of a gunshot wound in the driveway of her Gulf Shores home.
After experts testified at his trial that the death could have been the result of homicide or suicide, a Mobile County jury became deadlocked over his fate. The murder charge was eventually dropped in exchange for Nodine’s plea of guilty to a charge of perjury, which evolved from his attempt to receive a court-appointed attorney when he could afford to pay for legal counsel.
He eventually served a total of about three years on the perjury charge and a weapons violation.
Canterbury swore in the order of protection that her former boyfriend “texted me on several different occasions to let me know ‘I’m in Atmore’ after contacting several of my friends and disparaging me.”
She noted that Nodine’s involvement in the death of Downs gave her extra cause for concern.
“He has in the past been accused of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Angel Downs,” wrote Canterbury. “I am fearful of what he can do.”
Bay Minette defense attorney Pascal Bruijn, who is representing Nodine, said his client was only interested in recovering some personal items from Canterbury and did not mean to seem threatening. Bruijn issued the following statement in response to the warrant:
“It is my understanding that Mr. Nodine recently ended a romantic relationship. There were certain unresolved issues such as (the) return of Mr. Nodine’s personal items from the woman’s home in Atmore. Mr. Nodine has no need or reason to ever contact her in the future. As such, the petition is without merit and it is Mr. Nodine’s hope and desire to put this relationship behind him.”
Brooks said the third-degree domestic harassment charge, a misdemeanor, is set for a November 7 hearing in Atmore Municipal Court if Nodine challenges the accusation or if no out-of-court agreement is reached by the two parties before the court date.