Former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine is recovering from neck and head injuries at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.
Nodine was transported by ambulance Wednesday morning after he fell on a downtown Pensacola street. There is no police or incident report available yet, and Nodine was not sure what caused the fall. The Streets had been icy and rainy earlier, though most had cleared by Wednesday morning.
Nodine had been visiting with a homeless man he had befriended on a Pensacola street and had gifted him a used coat. Leaving there, Nodine fell while walking home. Nodine now lives in Pensacola.
Nodine had taken a photo with the homeless man, identified only as "Robert," at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, shortly before the fall. Nodine's Facebook post before the fall stated: "I don't have much, but buy Robert orange juice and muffin each morning at Fosko's on Palifox in downtown Pensacola. Robert never asks for money but today I gave him my London Fog Coat, and he was so grateful!"
Someone with access to Nodine's Facebook, believed to be a sister, made this post mid-day Wednesday: "Stephen had a serious spill this morning, he is in Baptist Hospital in Pensacola with head and neck injuries please pray for our brother….amazing how God looks after us, thank you all for prayers. I am resting but really sore….I shall survive this debacle!"
A photo of Nodine at the scene of the fall was posted on his Facebook page around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The person who posted the photo said, "Thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes….this guy has been through so much with such a sense of humor…first thing he asked the policeman, that this happened in front of was: "Hope you got that on your dash cam" then one of the paramedics asked "how old are you Stephen" "70"…that didn't make him happy! Lol, what a sense of humor as blood is seeping from his head! Stephen is resting and will be just fine…tough as nails!"
This photo was taken after Nodine was admitted to Baptist Hospital:
All photos were posted on the Stephen Nodine Facebook page.
Nodine is listed in guarded condition.
Nodine was elected to the Mobile City Council and then the Mobile County Commission. He now says he was planning on running for Mayor of Mobile. Legal troubles halted all that.
Nodine was accused of having marijuana in a county vehicle. Then, his legal troubles got worse.
Nodine's girlfriend, Angel Downs, was found dead of a gunshot wound outside her home in Baldwin County on May 9, 2010, Mother's Day. She and Nodine had been to the beach earlier, and his truck was seen leaving her place around the time of the gunshot.
An autopsy was inconclusive as to the cause of death. Downs had attempted suicide before but by pills.
Nodine was charged with murdering her. Evidence against Nodine was somewhere between inconsistent and non-existent. A trial resulted in a hung jury.
Legal maneuverings ensued, and Nodine, through his lawyers, ended up pleading to far lesser charges having nothing to do with killing Angel Downs. In exchange for the dropping of the Downs' homicide case, he pleaded guilty to harassment, perjury, and owning a gun while a drug offender. He served two years in prison. He was never re-tried for the Downs' killing and maintains to this day that he did not kill Downs.
Nodine and the case resurfaced in the public eye in 2023 when Oxygen Network aired a documentary about the case several times. Nodine expressed disappointment in the depiction of the case.
Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].