TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A local pastor accused of stealing from an elderly couple last year now has a trial date.

Jerome Milton is scheduled to appear in court for a jury trial on Aug. 15. He is charged with theft of property worth more than $30,000 and less than $150,000.

A probable cause affidavit states that Milton, since May 2021, was caring for and had power of attorney for an elderly couple at Open Door Bible Church in Tyler where he is a pastor. The elderly wife has “memory impairment” and her husband fell in February, leaving him completely bedridden.

Police said that Milton took money from that couple and used church donations for his personal bills. Authorities combed through bank statements, ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions. They said Milton used the couple’s money to make vehicle payments and withdraw cash.

“Milton has been unable to provide me with evidence of what he may have possibly used that cash that was withdrawn from their accounts on that would have been for their benefit,” the affidavit said.

For the theft charge, police say Milton opened a bank account for the church in February 2017 and closed it in May 2018 with a negative balance of $398.05. While the account was open, “several donation checks written to the church were deposited and several checks written from this account for Milton’s personal expenses such as cable bills and house rent.”

Milton has a long history in East Texas, being a pastor at Greater New Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Tyler previously and the head track coach at Bishop Gorman for many years.