Starkville pastor found liable for failed construction project

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – A jury has found the pastor of a Starkville church is liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in connection with a failed construction project.

The jury in a civil trial in Oktibbeha County returned the verdict Wednesday against Joseph Stone, the pastor of Second Baptist Church and head deacon Terry Miller.

The church trustees and finance department filed a lawsuit against Stone and Miller after the church paid a contractor more than $450,000 for work that was not performed on the construction project that began in 2015.

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The jury found that Stone and Miller conspired with the contractor and ordered them to repay $500,000. The jury also found that Stone likely took kickbacks from the contractor, Donald Crowther and ordered him to repay an additional $30,000.

Crowther, meanwhile, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to fraud in the case.