11/24/08 – KTAL VIDEO Report: Alamo Appears in Court

November 24, 2008
by: Karen Hopkins

Alamo Appears in Court

The custody hearings for four of the girls removed from the Tony Alamo Ministries in Fouke, Arkansas continued Monday. Lawyers representing the State called Tony Alamo to the stand. Alamo left Texarkana’s Bi-State Jail to testify. State police escorted Alamo inside the Texarkana Juvenile Courthouse. “I have no expectations on what testimony may or may not be. At this point, I don’t know what that is,” Miller County Circuit Judge Joe Griffin said. Alamo awaits trial for moving children across state lines for sex. Judge Griffin said Alamo could plead the fifth and not talk in court. “I don’t know what advice Alamo is getting from his lawyer. I won’t know until he takes the stand,” Griffin said. At the Miller County Courthouse just down the street, Judge Kirk Johnson held a probable cause hearing for the 20 children taken Tuesday. “The court was very well prepared for many people but not even half of the courtroom was full,” Court Appointed Special Advocate Danita Abernathy said. The parents chose not to testify Monday, waiting for the custody hearings set for January 12th. “When they take your kids, of course I was very concerned. My son is almost 18, and has always been a good kid,” Parent Jose Avila said. The Avila family came from Guatemala and joined the Alamo Church looking for a better life. “This is a very stressful time for us because we know he’s detached from home. We know he’s having the stress, and we want him back,” Aunt Rita Avila said. Last Friday, two custody hearings ended. Judge Jim Hudson decided that parents must break all ties with the church in order to get custody. Judge Griffin said that decision will not affect his, which should come Tuesday.

In: 2008 - (Trial year), Video Clips

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