Assistant District Attorney Ashley Rich called Hopkins "evil of the worst kind."
She said he taught the eight children in his home things about the Bible that were not true and that helped him get away with his crimes for years.
During Hopkins' trial in April, prosecutors said he killed his 36-year-old wife, Arletha Hopkins, in 2004 after she caught him molesting a girl, then stuffed her body in a freezer at their home in north Mobile. Investigators discovered the body in 2008 after a young woman abused by Hopkins told child advocates about it, authorities said. Police arrested Hopkins while he was preaching at a revival in the south Alabama town of Jackson.
Defense attorney Jeff Deen said his client admits putting his wife's body in the freezer, but he doesn't know how she died.
"There's evidence in the trial that it could've been by natural causes, and it needs to be explored on appeal," Deen said.
The two oldest children in the Hopkins home are now grown. The six youngest are living with relatives in Georgia.