Man accused of Madison County murder has 18 arrests since 2011

Man accused of Madison County murder has 18 arrests since 2011
Charged with murder (Source: WAFF 48 News)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - WAFF 48 News has uncovered an extensive criminal history for Charles Price Preston, the man now charged with murder in the death of Sharon Copeland.

Mugshots of Charles Preston taken between 2011 and 2020
Mugshots of Charles Preston taken between 2011 and 2020 (Source: Madison County Jail)

Copeland’s body was found in Lincoln County, Tennessee this week. Preston was arrested Monday and charged with killing her.

We’ve now learned that Copeland was reported missing just two weeks after Preston was released from the Madison County Jail for the 17th time in 9 years.

Madison County’s jail policy limits public information on arrests for suspects until 21 years of age. Preston turned 21 in 2011. WAFF 48 has uncovered a handful of arrests for Preston before 2011 in state court documents as well.

Most of Preston’s arrests are for theft, misdemeanor drug possession, probation violations and vehicular crimes including speeding, driving without insurance and driving without a license.

Among the most serious of his arrests and court proceedings:

- June 2010 - 2nd degree Rape - case dropped in December 2010

- November 2012 - Attempting to Elude & Reckless Endangerment - case dropped after two weeks

- 2014 - Divorce proceedings in which Preston’s now ex-wife accuses him of mental and physical abuse.

- March 2017 - 2nd degree Robbery - case dropped in March 2018

- March 2019 - 2nd degree Assault - Preston is accused of attacking another man with a knife. This case appears to be still active with Preston being indicted in February of this year.

There’s a gap in Preston’s records between July of 2019, when he was released from jail after the assault arrest, and June of 2020 when he was brought back to the Madison County Jail. Records list him as “back from prison for bond”. He was released on June 15th, 2020, just two weeks before Copeland was reported missing.

WAFF 48 is still working to piece together some of the gaps in Preston’s timeline, and we’ll continue to update this story as new details come in.

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