5/28/09 – AP: Attorney leaves Alamo defense team

Log Cabin Democrat
May 28, 2009
Associated Press

Attorney leaves Alamo defense team

California attorney Danny Davis, who defended Alamo on 1988 abuse charges and took on Alamo’s latest case in March, is no longer working on Alamo’s defense against federal child sex-related charges.

Left defending Alamo is Houston attorney Don Ervin and Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana. In March, Alamo fired John Wesley Hall Jr. of Little Rock and hired Davis.

Ervin would not discuss why Davis left, saying Tuesday that attorney-client privilege prevents his speaking on the matter.

“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,” Ervin said. Ervin joined Davis on Alamo’s case on April 3.

The 74-year-old Alamo has been in federal custody since his arrest in Arizona following a September raid on his compound in Fouke. Alamo is charged with taking underage girls across state lines for sex, alleged violations of the federal Mann Act.

“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 handled 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.

Davis became known for his work for a defendant in the McMartin Pre-School molestation trial, one of the nation’s longest-running and costliest criminal trials. Davis represented preschool worker Raymond Buckey, and focused on discounting the alleged victims’ bizarre accounts of animal mutilation, blood drinking and underground tunnels running through the day-care center.

Buckey was either acquitted or jurors wound up deadlocked on 53 charges.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes granted the defense a delay in the start date of the trial pushing it from May 18 to July 13.

“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.

Ervin said that two weeks ago FBI agents executed a 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. In the raids in Fouke and elsewhere, 36 children have been taken into state custody on grounds they were subject to physical or sexual abuse.

A federal civil bench trial has been set for May 17 in a suit challenging DHS’s actions in taking the children.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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