6/23/10 – TG: Government: Alamo conviction sound ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
June 23, 2010
By: Lynn LaRowe

Government: Alamo conviction sound

Tony Alamo’s conviction by a jury was based on sound evidence and his sentence by a judge on federal law, a brief filed Monday by the government states.

The 59-page document refutes arguments put forth in an April appellate brief filed by Alamo lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. of Little Rock. In it, Hall accuses the jury of convicting Alamo of all 10 counts in his federal indictment without sufficient evidence and accuses U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes of imposing his “own sense of religiosity” when he sentenced the disgraced evangelist to 175 years in federal prison. Alamo was convicted of violating federal law by transporting five women he’d wed as children across state lines for sex.

Alamo was convicted after a two-week trial in July 2009. In November, Barnes ordered Alamo, whose given name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, to serve the maximum term on each count consecutively.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner’s brief flatly denies Hall’s arguments.

Jenner argues the jury found the five Jane Does listed in Alamo’s indictment credible witnesses and outlines how each victim was made to travel with Alamo so that his sexual relationship with them could continue.

In Alamo’s appeal, he argues that sex with the girls was “incidental” and not a dominant purpose for their travel.

“They traveled at Alamo’s behest. The jury heard evidence the transportation of the minors in interstate commerce served no purpose other than to be sexually exploited by Alamo,” Jenner wrote.

In his appeal, Alamo argued statements made by Barnes at his sentencing hearing demonstrated an improper consideration of the judge’s own beliefs.

“One day you will face a higher and greater judge than me,” Barnes said at the hearing’s close. “May he have mercy on your soul.”

Jenner’s response alleges that other statements made by Barnes outlining the reasoning he followed to fashion Alamo’s sentence are based on federal law, not personal beliefs.

At the sentencing hearing, Barnes reviewed a presentence report and federal guidelines, noting that established sentencing guidelines put Alamo’s recommended punishment “… off the chart, we’re looking at life.”

“Notwithstanding, Mr. Alamo, you were found guilty in a court by 12 people, your peers,” Barnes said at the hearing. “Hopefully, this sentence, life imprisonment, will uphold the law and respect for the law and send a message to others that violation of children, young girls like these victims, shall not be and will not be tolerated in the courts around this United States of America.”

Following Barnes’ statement concerning a higher judge, Alamo’s trial attorney, Don Ervin of Houston, asked for “clarification about the imposition of sentence.”

Barnes responded by stating, “… this is a guideline sentence.”

The appeal is pending in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In: 2010

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2 Posts

  1. chas.c.williams Says:

    sounds good to me, justice has been served, any way relax tony, i mean its only 175 years, after all the time you lived so well and wax so great in your empire that you raise on the backs of slaves, and now you are in confinement,just pray that God will have mercy on your soul.

  2. Jim Says:

    Tony one time said that G-d had told him that he would live to be 185yrs old…I guess thats why he’s so angry about this 175yr sentencing…he realizes he won’t see outside of prison ever again…

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