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Tuesday, August 08, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor pleads guilty

FLINT MICH - The pastor of Foss Avenue Baptist Church pleaded guilty to several charges Monday and faces a Sept. 18 sentencing before Genesee Circuit Judge Judith A. Fullerton.

The Rev. Derrick A. Aldridge, 51, of Flint pleaded guilty to improper possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, a 90-day misdemeanor, and possession of cocaine, a 4-year felony.

Attorney Michael P. Manley, who represents Aldridge, said he will wait until sentencing to see if his client is eligible for a designation that would allow the conviction to be erased if Aldridge successfully completes the sentence requirements.

Assistant Lapeer County Prosecutor Steven G. Beatty earlier said his office would oppose that type of sentencing request.

The case is being handled by the Lapeer County prosecutor's office at the request of Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who represented Aldridge in a 1995 embezzlement case, to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Aldridge was arrested Jan. 13 at Flushing Road near Ballenger Highway in Flint after police found him sitting in his car with a briefcase containing about 15 grams of cocaine and a .38-caliber revolver.

Manley said Aldridge is now at a halfway house but is still involved in a substance abuse treatment program in Mississippi.

The voting board at Foss Avenue has not yet decided whether to keep Aldridge as pastor.

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