6/24/09 – AP: Alamo Wants Evidence Kept from Trial

My Fox Memphis
June 24, 2009
By JON GAMBRELL Associated Press Writer

Alamo Wants Evidence Kept from Trial

Evidence seized during a raid on jailed evangelist Tony Alamo’s southwest Arkansas compound shouldn’t be used at his upcoming trial on sex charges because a judge granted the search warrant using outdated information, his lawyers argue in new court filings.

Lawyers claim the search warrant signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant failed to consider that witness statements given to the FBI involved alleged sex acts from as far back as eight years earlier.

“All of the information provided by informants in this case as to the existence of contraband in the place to be searched amounts to a single assertion that such contraband existed at a residence between five and eight years before the search,” a motion filed Tuesday reads.

The filing claims supporting documents by the FBI failed to say when informants offered them the information or whether the witnesses were credible.

Alamo lawyer Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana asked U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes to exclude any evidence gathered from computers, business records, photographs or testimony during the search. Another filing asked Barnes to require the FBI to turn over the names of its informants.

FBI agents and Arkansas State Police troopers raided Alamo’s Fouke compound on Sept. 20, searching for evidence that the evangelist had child pornography or had sex with minors. Agents seized a Polaroid camera and film, while state child welfare officials took six young girls into custody. Since then, child welfare officials have seized a total of 36 children associated with Alamo’s church on grounds they were subject to physical or sexual abuse.

Alamo, 74, was arrested on Sept. 25 in Flagstaff, Ariz. He faces a 10-count criminal indictment accusing him of taking young girls across state lines for sex.

Since establishing the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Arkansas, Alamo has been a controversial and flamboyant figure. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, describes the ministry as a cult that rails against homosexuals, Roman Catholics and the government.

Alamo is said to have ministries and business operations in a number of states, including Colorado, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Alamo, who is being held without bond, faces a July 13 trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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