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Huntsville Times, Aug. 10, 2005
Steele’s husband levels accusations against senator State Sen. Jeff Enfinger testified before a judge Tuesday to bolster claims from his business partner, Sandra Steele, that her husband poses a threat to her.
Steele’s husband, Keith Wilson, alleges that he caught Enfinger, D-Huntsville, and Steele involved in a sexual tryst in July. Under a temporary court order, Wilson has moved out of the house he shares with Steele on Becket Drive pending the judge’s ruling. Steele, co-owner and president of Enfinger-Steele Development Co., asked the court to permanently order her husband to stay away from her. Steele filed for a divorce on Thursday, after nearly five years of marriage.
Steele told District Judge Dennis O’Dell that Wilson is jealous of her relationship with Enfinger to the point of obsession.
Sonja Farrell, director of physical therapy at Crestwood Medical Center and Enfinger’s fiancee, also testified as a witness supporting Steele’s petition. Wilson, general manager at Wyle Laboratories, alleges that Steele has repeatedly tarried away from home into the night drinking and taking pills with Enfinger. “Despite promises that she will stop,” Wilson said, “she keeps doing it.”
Enfinger said Wilson’s allegations are not true. He said he and Steele have been friends for 12 years and she has been president of the development company for about three or four years. The petition for the court order stemmed from an altercation at Enfinger’s and Steele’s offices on July 29, a Friday. Enfinger, Farrell and Steele all testified that Wilson barged into the office and shoved Enfinger, slung Steele around and broke a glass-topped coffee table.
Wilson admitted breaking a spindle out of a hallway bannister and smashing the table top and shoving Enfinger, but he denies roughing up his wife. “Were you trying to scare them?” asked William P. Burgess Jr., Steele’s lawyer. “Yes,” Wilson said. Steele and Enfinger testified that they were having a spontaneous office party around 5:30 p.m. that Friday. They pulled the corks from a few bottles of champagne and wine. Steele and Enfinger admitted having several drinks. All the employees were gone by the time Farrell dropped by for her movie date with Enfinger around 8:30 p.m. She also drank some wine and champagne. A few minutes later, Farrell testified, she felt ill and laid on the floor. Steele and Enfinger said they tried to soothe her with ice water and damp towels.
Steele said she also became ill and was throwing up repeatedly. She laid down on the office sofa. Enfinger said he placed a garbage can near the sofa for Steele and covered a dozing Farrell with a blanket. “I saw Keith at the door and I said, ‘Keith, come on in, we’ve got two sick girls here,’ ” Enfinger said. Wilson saw Farrell on the floor, Enfinger said. Then he shoved past Enfinger to Steele, who was lying on the sofa. “She was too sick to stand up,” Enfinger said. “He jerked her off the couch and she fell on the floor.” Wilson walked outside, then came back with the bannister spindle and smashed the table, according to testimony.
Wilson said he was anticipating spending a Friday night alone with his wife. He called her around 5:30 p.m. and told her he was headed home, Wilson said. “She said she would be right behind me,” he said. After that conversation, repeated calls to Steele’s cellular and office telephone went unanswered, Wilson said. He said he read the newspaper and watched television until around 9 p.m. When his wife didn’t show up, Wilson said, he drove to Enfinger’s’ office. The lights were on in the lobby and in his wife’s office, Wilson testified. But the lights were off in Enfinger’s office. Steele was lying on the couch, and Enfinger was standing over her, Wilson said. Enfinger’s knees were against the couch and his hands were resting on the back of the couch, Wilson testified. “He was zipping up his pants,” Wilson said. Wilson said Steele’s bra and blouse were pushed up to her neck, and she was covering her breasts with her arm. Steele, Farrell and Enfinger all said they were fully clothed when Wilson came into the office. O’Dell said he will consider the testimony from the witnesses and decide later whether to grant Steele’s request for an order of protection against Wilson.
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