7/14/09 – TG: Alamo jury seated

Texarkana Gazette
July 14, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo jury seated

Opening arguments and witness testimony in the sexual abuse trial of Tony Alamo will begin around 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Nine men and three women will decide if Alamo is guilty of bringing young girls across state lines for sex.

Two alternates, both women, will serve only if a member of the jury is unable.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Candace Taylor queried potential jurors this morning about the credibility of children versus adults, an individual’s right to privacy versus the government’s duty to uphold the law and the logic behind laws that protect children.

She also asked the panel if they believed theology played a role in the case. “Does anybody have any concerns that Mr. Alamo is being targeted because of his religious views,” Taylor asked.

Members of Alamo’s defense team also attempted to weed out people who might not be impartial. “Your probably going to hear testimony that makes you mad,” said Florida attorney Phillip Kuhn. “Can you set aside your emotions? Even if you think he’s a bad man, can you acquit him if the government doesn’t prove what’s charged in the indictment,” Kuhn said.

Another member of the defense, Don Ervin of Houston, reminded prospective jurors that Alamo is “cloaked in the presumption of innocence,” unless the government can prove the case against him.

Alamo’s third attorney, Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana, asked the panel to commit that they would, “…wait to make your mind up until you’ve heard both sides.”

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes said the trial should last about two weeks

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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