7/08/09 – TG: Prosecutors won’t name Alamo informants

Texarkana Gazette
July 8, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Prosecutors won’t name Alamo informants

The U.S. government doesn’t believe the names of confidential informants used in the sexual abuse investigation of Tony Alamo should be given to the defense, according to a document filed Tuesday.

Alamo, whose real name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, is facing a 10-count federal indictment in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas accusing him of bringing young girls across state lines for sex. His criminal trial begins Monday.

“This is the type of offense that involves not only physical and sexual abuse but also involves significant emotional abuse,” the government’s response to the defense request for informant identities said. “In assessing this particular factor, the court should consider that the involvement of juveniles requires the court to be particularly cautious in ordering the disclosure of their identities, as they are especially vulnerable and subject to intimidation.”

The government’s response asserts that unless disclosing the name of a confidential informant is “vital to a fair trial,” the defense isn’t entitled to the information.

The response said names of informants who will testify during Alamo’s trial have already been given to Alamo’s defense team, Don Irvin of Houston and Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner, Candace Taylor and Clay Fowlkes are prosecutors in the case against 74-year old Alamo.

“Neither of the remaining unnamed informants added any information to the affidavit in support of the search warrant in this case,” the response states. “In addition, neither added any information that would be relevant to the charges contained in the indictment.”

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes has yet to rule on the defense’s motion concerning the informants. Several other motions, including defense requests for more information about how and when Alamo allegedly broke the law and another asking that evidence collected during a September 2008 raid of Tony Alamo Christian Ministry properties in Fouke, Ark., be suppressed, also await decisions from Barnes.

The judge has scheduled a closed, in chambers meeting with the defense and prosecutors for Friday morning.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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