4/15/09 -Judge denies Alamo request on bail

Arkansas Democrat Gazette
April 15, 2009
Associated Press

Judge denies Alamo request on bail

LITTLE ROCK — Evangelist Tony Alamo will remain jailed until his May trial on charges he took young girls across state lines for sex, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes rejected a request by Alamo’s lawyers to reconsider bond for the 74-year-old, who cited the preacher’s physical frailties and problems in helping with his defense from jail.

Barnes didn’t touch on those issues in his two-page order denying the request, instead saying Alamo should have immediately appealed a U.S. magistrate judge’s decision in October to hold him without bond pending trial. Barnes said the 10-day window to appeal the magistrate’s ruling had long since passed.

The “defendant’s objections are untimely,” Barnes wrote. “He has waived his right to a review of the magistrate’s order.”

Jeff Harrelson, a Texarkana lawyer helping represent Alamo, did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

In October, Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant ruled from the bench that Alamo was a flight risk and a danger to the community. Prosecutors reiterated that claim in asking that bail remain withheld from the evangelist.

Lawyers for Alamo had argued that prosecutors offered no real evidence that he had committed the crimes. They said the evangelist’s infirmities — such as poor eyesight, his heart condition and diabetes — also made jailing him inappropriate before trial.

However, Alamo previously went underground in the early ’90s when he faced child abuse charges in California, as well as federal charges accusing him of threatening a judge. After being the subject of crime re-enactment television shows and news programs, Alamo was tracked down at a Tampa, Fla., home after about two years on the lam.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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