Starkville pastor found liable for failed construction project

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.

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.

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