By: Lynn LaRowe – Texarkana Gazette
December 13, 2014
Tony Alamo filed objections earlier this month to a federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that a motion to vacate his convictions be denied.
Alamo was found guilty by a jury in 2009 of all 10 counts in a federal indictment accusing him of bringing five women he wed as children across state lines for sex. Later the same year, he was sentenced to 175 years in federal prison.
Alamo’s lawyer, John Rogers of Missouri, filed objections to U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant’s 41-page report and recommendation that Alamo’s motion to vacate and set aside his convictions and sentence be denied. In his motion, Alamo complained that his lawyers were ineffective, that the government withheld information that could have helped him at trial and that he was denied the right to testify in his own defense.
Bryant’s lengthy opinion examined each of Alamo’s claims in depth and found them to be without merit. Bryant recommended dismissing the motion without a hearing.
The objections Rogers filed on Alamo’s behalf asks that a U.S. district judge vacate or modify Bryant’s findings, calling them “erroneous and premature.”
Rogers’ objections include allegations that Alamo’s lawyers failed to make objections at trial or have testimony stricken from the record that might have led the jury to view Alamo as a polygamist. The objections accuse Alamo’s lawyers of failing to adequately interview or prepare witnesses and potential witnesses. Rogers also complains that Alamo’s lawyers should have asked that the case be moved to another location because of extensive pretrial publicity.
The objections further allege Alamo’s lawyers made “false promises” to get him to waive his right to take the stand in his own defense. Alamo claims the lawyers managed his silence by telling him they would make arguments they never made. The specific nature of the arguments Alamo wanted aren’t identified in Rogers’ objections.
Rogers asks that Bryant’s recommendation to dismiss Alamo’s motion be reversed. Rogers also requests that the court conduct a hearing to address Alamo’s complaints.
Alamo’s criminal case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes.