6/16/09 – TG: Superseding indictment not in public record

Texarkana Gazette
June 16, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Superseding indictment not in public record

A superseding indictment for Tony Alamo that has not been made part of the public record does little more than fine-tune the language of one of 10 pending criminal counts, an Alamo defense attorney said Monday.

“They just modified count six,” said Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson. “It now includes January and February of 1999, not just January.”

Each of the 10 counts Alamo faces alleges a violation of federal law that makes it a crime to bring young girls across state lines for sex.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin July 13 in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas before U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes.

The 74-year-old has been in jail since his arrest last October. At a detention hearing last year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant ruled Alamo would remain in custody because he presents a danger to the community and is a flight risk.

Monday, a docket entry in Alamo’s criminal case indicated another arrest warrant was issued Thursday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Plumlee said he could not comment unless a document had been filed publicly.

“We’ll be filing a waiver of arraignment,” Harrelson said. “The warrant is really a formality.”

Alamo was first indicted Oct. 1, 2008, on a two-count indictment. On Nov. 19, a superseding indictment was handed down that added eight additional counts.

Until an order granting Alamo’s motion to waive his appearance at an arraignment on the superseding indictment was granted, the document was kept under seal.

Plumlee said it is common practice for indictments to remain under seal until a defendant has either appeared in court for or waived an arraignment hearing.

Alamo is accused of bringing five young girls over state lines between ministry properties in Arkansas and California in 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005 for sex. Each count identifies particular months or ranges of months when the illegal behavior allegedly occurred.

“It was just a housekeeping issue,” Harrelson said of the government’s decision to seek a new indictment. “You’ll have to look pretty hard to find the changes.”

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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