Florence attorney charged with rape and sodomy

Shoals

Donald Tipper (Photo: Lauderdale County Detention Center)

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – An attorney in Florence has been charged with first-degree rape and sodomy.  Donald Glenn Tipper, 65, surrendered Tuesday at the Lauderdale County Detention Center and was released on $100,000 bond.

The charge was issued through Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s Office. The office’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence to a Lauderdale County grand jury, resulting in Tipper’s indictment on February 1.

The charges stem from an alleged incident that happened in August 2011 with a client Tipper was appointed to represent.

The Attorney General’s office did not release further information.  WHNT News 19 spoke with Tipper’s attorney, Billy Underwood, who said his client plans to plead not guilty. Underwood also said Tipper’s future is ruined no matter the outcome.

“As you and I both know anybody that’s charged with rape that’s a doctor or lawyer, their life ends the day that they’re charged, even if we have a jury trial and he’s acquitted, said Underwood. “Fifty percent of the people will always think he raped that girl, 50 percent will always say he didn’t. There’s no way for him to further go on with his life.”

Underwood was frank about the accusations made by Tipper’s former client.

“The most important thing about the case is it happened four years and eight months ago, and a woman that he was appointed to represent, to keep her out of jail alleged he raped her,” said Underwood. “She was going to go back to jail because she violated probation, by getting arrested for marijuana, getting arrested for stealing from some businesses, and she’d already been charged, theft charges which she plead guilty, so she was about 100 percent going to jail for a year.”

Underwood said a special judge will be appointed to hear the case. He expects it to go to trial in about a year.

If convicted, Tipper faces a maximum penalty of 10 years to 99 years or life imprisonment for each of the charges, which are Class A felonies.

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