5/27/09 – TG: Lawyer leaves Alamo defense team

Texarkana Gazette
May 27, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Lawyer leaves Alamo defense team

Jailed evangelist Tony Alamo has once again made some changes to the team of lawyers who will defend him against sexual abuse charges in a federal courtroom in July.

Danny Davis of California—whom Alamo hired to replace Little Rock lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. in March as his lead defense attorney—is no longer involved in the case.

“What has happened were things that needed to happen in terms of lawyers getting into the case and then getting out. I don’t think it’s Pastor Alamo’s fault,” said Houston attorney Don Ervin, who joined in Alamo’s defense April 3.

Ervin said he has now assumed the role of lead attorney. He is being assisted by Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson. Davis hasn’t formally filed a motion to withdraw from the case.

“Jeff and I are the only lawyers of record at this point and there are no other lawyers that are entering the case anytime soon,” Ervin said.

Ervin’s resumé includes a successful appeal of a 45-year prison sentence handed to renowned televangelist Jim Bakker for fraud. Bakker’s term was reduced to eight years.

Ervin declined to discuss the details surrounding Davis’ exit.

“The client holds the attorney/client privilege. He can talk about things if he wants to, but we can’t,” Ervin said.“It has created some problems in terms of readiness for the defense, but we’re forging forward.”

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes of the Western District of Arkansas granted a continuance request from the defense earlier this month and rescheduled jury selection from May 18 to July 13. The delay is the second granted in the case.

“The government is ready for trial when they indict the case,” Ervin said.“The question is, how long does it take the defense to prepare.”

Alamo is facing a 10-count indictment alleging he violated a federal law that makes it a crime to bring young girls across state lines for sex. At the end of a detention hearing in October, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant ruled Alamo presents a danger to the community and is a flight risk.

His confinement began less than a week following a raid on church property Sept. 20, 2008, in Fouke, Ark. Two weeks ago, the FBI executed yet another search warrant on the Fouke properties.

“My understanding is they were there to take a bunch of photographs,” Ervin said.

Federal and state authorities have visited the Fouke location at least four times since the initial raid in September.

Following the September raid, six girls were taken into state custody amid allegations of physical and sexual abuse. A second warrant was executed around the time of Alamo’s detention hearing and pieces of carpet were removed from the church gym. In November, officials were armed with a court order authorizing the removal of more than 100 children.

Only 36 of the juveniles listed on the order have been found and placed in state care.

On April 9, Florida attorney Phillip Kuhn filed a civil suit on behalf of the ministry and two fathers whose children are in foster care.

The suit accuses the Arkansas Department of Human Services of violating the parents’ civil rights and of using a child abuse investigation to disband the church. The suit asks for an injunction preventing DHS from taking more children without first conducting a hearing.

In another development in the case Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes entered an order setting the civil case for a bench trial May 17, 2010.

A motion was also filed Tuesday by Kuhn. It asks that a hearing be held to address the request for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction concerning the removal of children from Alamo devotees.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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One Post

  1. Give me a break Says:

    What probably happened was Davis finally understood the extent of Alamo’s depravity and his conscience would not allow him to continue defending the animal.

    Kudos to you, Danny!

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