Adam Bartley -“…I did nothing wrong.” (Court docs)

Thursday, August 20, 2015, several motions and notices were filed in the Matthew Fenner case. Rccatalyst.com reported this while including a copy of Adam Bartley’s signature to a handwritten (printed) statement including the words at the bottom of the plea offer, “I reject any plea offer as I did nothing wrong.” (Use the BACK ARROW to return to this post)
exhibit 5 handwritten rejection

Before we get into the rest of the filed documents, let me say right here in Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) language, “I did nothing wrong,” is not the same as “I am innocent of the charges.” Why? In WOFF-think, which we must presume still affects Bartley, you can do “nothing wrong” in God’s eyes and still be guilty of breaking the law. In effect, I did nothing wrong- in the sight of God. In WOFF-think, God’s ways are higher than man’s ways and if He said to pray a certain way or “help someone get back in their place”, you better do it or “you will be in sin.” How do I know? I have heard it over and over. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. This is how WOFF members can look you straight in the face and tell you “Truth” which is contrary to the facts. Jane speaks Truth as she “hears it from God.” It may be contrary to facts – but she cares not. “Truth” as she hears it protects her from any negative outcomes…right? We shall see. Did it work May 29th?

Included in the filed documents were the following:

Motion to Stay Proceedings- Asking the court to “stay”- stop proceedings until the appellate proceedings are decided. This could take a while. The Daily Courier reported a “tentative hearing for August 27th at 9:30AM to review this request and the Notice of Appeal.
motion to stay proceedings during appeal

Notice of Appeal- This Notice “appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, from the Order disqualifying the Law Firm of Tomblin, Farmer & Morris, P.L.L.C….” “By this appeal, the Defendant, (each named) will ask the North Carolina Court of Appeals to reverse the Order disqualifying counsel entered August 6, 2015, and to remand the cause for further proceedings.”
notice of appeal

Sources close to the drama were unclear how this may proceed. This Appeal was not the standard appeal of a “final order.” More will be known as early as Monday, but for almost certain after the meeting on Thursday.

Honestly, I was not surprised at this Appeal. There is much riding on the outcome of this case. Now, there is an understatement. Josh Farmer and his crew are feeling the heat, no doubt.

Additionally, a Motion to Reconsider Order Disqualifying Counsel was filed. This Motion included five pages plus eleven exhibits. It is here I want to spend the rest of this post, reviewing a few of the questions this Motion raises.
Motion to Reconsider

From the introduction, “Defendants aver there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting this Court’s reconsideration of the prior order and denial of the State’s motion. In support of this motion to reconsider, the undersigned show unto the Court the following:” Next, the Motion lists twenty statements which are meant to summarize how we got here and what has changed since August 6, 2015.

I will restate number 5 and 6 leading to number 7, where the questions come flooding in.

5. In the Order, the Court found as fact that the Plea Offer “raises the distinct possibility of a conflict of interest, breach of previous confidences of to the defense counsel, difficulty in effective cross-examination of Mr. Bartley, as well as other procedural issues.”¶18
6. The Court thus concluded that joint representation of the Co-Defendants “is a concurrent conflict of interest which exits and cannot effectively be waived by a defendant absent knowledge of what a co-defendant may testify on behalf of the State against the remaining co-defendants.”¶3.
7. On November 28, 2014, Bartley had executed an affidavit (“Affidavit I” attached hereto as “Exhibit 2”)in which he declared his innocence and the innocence of the co-defendants.
Exhibit 2 Affidavit I

Let me note that in oral arguments on August 3rd, against disqualification, this Affidavit I was touted by Josh Farmer as the strength/proof that Bartley would testify to his innocence and of the defendants, thus averting any conflicts. Judge Pope stated that once Bartley or any other defendant testified for the State, a conflict would arise simply because of the previous knowledge gained by the attorneys in favor of the other defendants gained by the time Bartley, or that defendant was under counsel from Tomblin, Farmer& Morris.

Possibly I did not catch the entire exchange between Garland Byers and Josh Farmer that day over this Affidavit 1. But, in spite of the non-mention of the Affidavit I in the Findings of Fact in the resulting ORDER, Josh and his crew keep trying to resurrect this Affidavit I, this time further testifying about it in a subsequent Affidavit II signed August 13, 2015.

Remember, Affidavit I was signed the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, 2014, during November Seminar for WOFFers just days before a secret grand jury hearing was to commence pertaining to the charges filed by Matthew Fenner. The proceedings and resulting warrants were set aside in January 2015, by the new District Attorney, Ted Bell. Another grand jury indicted the same five defendants for a second time with the same charges in January 2015. Bell wanted “clean indictments.” Have we heard the last of the background issues surrounding the proceedings in December 2014?

Affidavit I signed by Bartley retells his version of the happenings in January 2013. He declares, “11. At no time during the prayer session nor during the time that I saw Matthew talking to Brooke, Sarah and Nick in the foyer, was Matthew slapped, choked, touched with force or touched against his will. Neither was he held down, dragged and threatened in any way….”

In Affidavit II signed August 13, 2015, attached to the Motion, Bartley states: “Previous to and at the time of signing Affidavit I on November 28, 2014: (1) I was not a client of Tomblin, Farmer & Morris, PLLC, Joshua Farmer, Mark Morris, Andrea Farmer, or other associates of Tomblin, Farmer & Morris, PLLC,(“the Firm”) (2) I had not discussed and I did not discuss any matters relating to this case with Firm; (3) I had not and I did not discuss contents of Affidavit I with the Firm.” ¶4. Bartley further states that he signed the Affidavit I in the presence of Dewitt and Andra Prince, who are personal friends of mine.”

Hold the phone! I have to ask, if Bartley did not discuss Affidavit I with the Firm, WHO TYPED IT? We never learn who typed Affidavit I. Does Bartley have the skill to format and include all of the talking points of the secret grand jury evidence against him? Did he study law during his last prison sentence? Is there a mystery attorney floating around out there or did he secure the services of some lawyer wanna-be not directly affiliated with the Firm that magically knew what to type and could help him with Affidavit I? Someone please explain where this Affidavit I came from? Josh was brazenly confident as to its strength and yet, I see it was the WEAKEST point of the whole strategy. And Affidavit II makes Affidavit I weaker and more suspect. Dare I say both Affidavits seem to me as not credible?

From Affidavit II- “Bartley further states that “… Affidavit I was not intended to constitute a confidential communication between myself and the Firm” and that I do not consider Affidavit I to be protected by the attorney-client privilege.”¶¶7-8.

Hey, if the first part of the paragraph was true, WHY even mention the second part? These two parts do not jive and make no sense unless the person(s) typing and the person signing this Affidavit I knew the background and had already connected the dots in their minds- hoping this Affidavit II would UNconnect the dots for others.

It reminds me of the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar and pulls out an empty hand. Me? Grabbing a cookie? No, I was just counting them to make sure none were missing.

Adam, I don’t know you, but you might consider not honking the horn for the Affidavit I. You better hope it gets buried and not brought up again. You better pray Byers does not get you on the stand and ask you or ANY other person in the Firm where Affidavit I came from, who typed it and who decided on the content?

Dewitt and Andra Prince? You used to live in their home. How did that end up? Go to a basement apartment after that? Andra has worked for Josh Farmer in the past, but I am not sure of her status in November 2014. Regardless, with the closed sub-culture of WOFF, you may not have been a signed on the dotted line “client”, but there was great interest in having your story straight before the first grand jury hearing, right? Sure it was a team effort in November 2014.

You signed a statement saying, “I did nothing wrong.”- But, pertaining to these Affidavits, in my opinion, you have not done much right, either. And your “new counsel” helped you get further into this hole? Are you sure?

One more point before we close. In the Motion, number 18 (summary) gives case law for the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturning a lower court ruling involving father and son defendants facing similar charges. State v. Yelton, 87 N.C. App. 554, 361 S.E. 2d 753 (1987). Partial quote:

“A potential conflict of interest, as distinguished from an actual conflict of interest, is not sufficient to warrant the State’s interference with the constitutionally guaranteed right of a criminal defendant to retain and be represented by the counsel of his choice.”

In this case, in my opinion, there have already been actual conflicts and the ones to come will be of a higher magnitude. Unless the Disqualification is upheld and “the Firm” abides by the letter AND the spirit of the Disqualification, by excusing themselves from any overt or casual contact with all of the defendants; this process will continually be threatened with divisive conundrums and quandaries.

The Motion to Reconsider is “based on a substantial change in circumstances.” What has changed since August 6th? Bartley has submitted another doubtful Affidavit. He says, “I did nothing wrong” which means nothing in WOFF speak. Robert Lewis Walker has secured counsel. Who was shocked Josh ditched him? (But, has he really?) Brooke Covington, Sarah Anderson and Justin Covington are still being represented by the Firm which is essentially a “ministry” of WOFF. Josh Farmer said he was not WOFF’s paid in house counsel. Right, he may not get paid a fair rate for his hours of relentless undying service. However, his name and Mark Morris’s name keep showing up defending three of the five defendants who have the most to say about the inner workings behind the closed doors of WOFF. Are they defending them from the charges filed or keeping them from “unacceptable” future choices or both? What has really changed?

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