9/09/09 – TG: Alamo denied new trial ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
September 9, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo denied new trial

A federal judge has denied Tony Alamo’s motion for a new trial in his criminal sex abuse case.

The 74-year-old was convicted July 24 by a federal jury of 10 counts of bringing young girls across state lines for sex.

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes issued the ruling Tuesday afternoon and included a point-by-point analysis of many of the arguments for a new trial made by Alamo’s defense team.

Among the issues addressed was the defense’s assertion that Alamo’s dominant purpose for travel wasn’t sex.

“The law requires only that an illicit intent must have been formed before the conclusion of the interstate journey,” Barnes’ order said. “It is the illicit intent along with the travel that is the violation.”

The defense also said it should have been given counseling records relating to time several of the five Jane Does named in Alamo’s 10-count indictment received after they’d been interviewed by the FBI and testified before the grand jury. Alamo’s legal team also wanted more notes and records of interviews with law enforcement.

“The government informed the court that it was not in possession, nor had it ever been in possession, of any records from Wellspring Counseling Center and that it had provided defendant any and all notes of interviews … in existence,” the order said.

Barnes said the government couldn’t be expected to produce documents it didn’t have.

Barnes also wrote that testimony about the absolute control Alamo exerted over the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries was necessary.

“The court allowed this control evidence because it was relevant and probative as to whether or not defendant had the ability to transport the minor females interstate,” the order said.

Alamo’s defense lawyers also didn’t like it that the jury heard about his prior trial and conviction for tax evasion. Barnes ruled the testimony put into context several of the trips on which he had sex with the girls.

Information about beatings and violence heard by the jury was elicited from a witness while she was being cross-examined by a defense attorney and therefore her words couldn’t be held against the government, the order said.

Jailhouse conversations the jury heard recordings of were reviewed by the judge before they were introduced during the trial.

“These portions of conversations that were admitted were relevant to prove the conduct charged and defendant’s control …” the order said.

The snippet of tape heard by jurors was of Alamo telling a woman to “shut her face.” He also spoke of still being in charge despite being in jail and a statement about having sex with the girls in the indictment.

Witnesses invoking the Fifth Amendment in front of the jury also bothered Alamo’s defense. But Barnes ruled the defense “opened the door” to such when it called two women whose whereabouts had been unknown for some time and whose young children are missing.

Barnes also found a statement made by a prosecutor during closing remarks wasn’t grounds for a second shot at justice for Alamo.

The defense argued that the prosecutor was commenting on Alamo’s decision not to take the stand when she said he’d never denied having sex with the girls.

“The defendant has never disputed that he had sex with these young women,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner in her closing.

Barnes ruled that the jury wouldn’t have necessarily concluded Jenner was talking about Alamo’s decision not to testify.

But Barnes did not address reasons for a new trial put forth by the defense in an addendum filed later than the original new trial motion.

In it, the defense alleged Alamo could only get a fair trial from a “religious tribunal” and that the jury of Arkansans that unanimously agreed he was guilty wasn’t qualified to do so.

A date for Alamo’s sentencing in the Western District of Arkansas’ Texarkana Division hasn’t been set.

If sentenced to the maximum on each count and ordered to serve the terms consecutively, Alamo could receive a total of 175 years.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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One Post

  1. cindi angulo Says:

    I’m so thankful that finally justice is being served. Too bad it didn’t happen years ago. He a sick SOB that deserves everything coming to him and then some.I hope the MF burns in hell forever and ever after his death.

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