Subpoenas, the Motion to Disqualify and NC Deed(s) of Trust (updated)

The Summer of Decision rolls on….

Friday, July 31, 2015; in article ( broke the news concerning the subpoena served on Ray Farmer as Vice President and Treasurer of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The subpoena requires for delivery of certain DVDs, audio or videos made January 26-28, 2013 on the premises of WOFF to the Rutherford County Superior Court on or before August 3, 3015 at 9:30AM. The document also requires all videotapes, audio, DVDs or video made July 1 through July 31, 2015 to be turned over. A third part of the subpoena includes any audio, CD’s DVD’s, videos papers, photos any other media depicting Richard Matthew Fenner, III. Read the document for a more complete description.

This is a very inclusive request. As far as I know, this is the first time WOFF has been issued such a request. Will there be lights on all night this whole weekend at the WOFF grounds? Will there be a last minute hardship request for an extension of time? What creative excuses will be given if such a request is made? The subpoena outlines a requirement for Ray Farmer to appear and testify on Monday. What will he be testifying to? Will he be required to swear under oath that the materials presented are all inclusive and nothing has been overlooked, modified or tampered with? Will he be required to attest to the validity, integrity and completeness of the submitted recordings? What if there are gaps in time sequence? How will this affect the acceptance of the materials? Will the papers be redacted? If so, what reason will there be for such redaction? Will tapes be scrambled? Questions, questions.

The delivery date for the required materials coincides with the hearing on Monday, August 3, 2015 for the State’s Motion to Disqualify Counsel. The State is moving to disqualify the entire firm of Tomblin, Farmer and Morris, P.L.L.C. from representing the five named defendants in the Fenner case. The motion cites “the aforesaid counsel have a non-waivable, concurrent, conflict of interest. See the Motion below. (use the BACK ARROW to return to this blog)
motion to disqualify TFM

My understanding from attorney Paul Ditz, who is not involved in the case includes this dilemma – if a plea was either offered to or requested by one of the five defendants, the legal advice on that plea as to the acceptance or rejection would be in conflict to the other four. Therefore, in the best interest of each defendant, separate counsel for each one is needed. A plea could be made to accept a lesser charge for testimony which may incriminate the other defendants. This does raise some more questions. Will there be a motion to reinstate access to public defense counsel? Will WOFF bring in more experienced attorneys from out of state? Will there be five separate trials? Will the Motion for a change of venue set to be argued August 19th be moot if this Motion to Disqualify is successful? Will the defendants be required to attend on Monday? So much should be decided on Monday.

This brings another set of questions. The bonds for each defendant were secured by property owned by WOFF. Makes sense right? I mean the defendants were exhibiting WOFF practices. The practices of WOFF members are on trial here. Who approves of all WOFF behaviors, rules and practices? Who is also on trial here and not named as a defendant? Do you think the regular members will be told the details of the Deed of Trust? See the copies from public records found here. (Use the BACK ARROW to return to this blog)

DOT bond Adam Bartley
DOT bond b covington
DOT bond j covington
DOT bond r walker jr
DOT bond s anderson

Interesting to note, Ray signed each Deed of Trust. Each one lists The State of North Carolina as BENFICIARY. Different WOFF owned properties were used for each Deed. Nothing unusual here or is it? If the motion to disqualify is successful, will another attorney need to be listed as the point of contact on each Deed of Trust? Will new Deeds be required? If a defendant rolls and accepts a plea, will there need to be a substitute bond since that defendant will no longer be WOFF-friendly? Is this a sticking point used to keep a defendant from rolling over to accept a plea? Just wondering. I have no reason to believe any attorney on this case would be anything but straight forward and trustworthy, right? None of the attorneys in question would make any moves outside of the Standards of Conduct, right?

We simply have a conundrum which Garland Byers hopes to solve. That is how I see it. Garland has the duty “to represent the State of North Carolina with integrity and professionalism, while protecting victims and their rights, in the pursuit of justice.” source (District Attorney Ted Bell) The present circumstances do not allow this to happen. What may appear complicated to the unlearned like me, certainly can be navigated one step at a time. Thank you Garland Byers, Ted Bell and the others in the District Attorney’s office for moving this case forward with integrity and in a professional manner. This speaks loudly to the citizens of Rutherford County as well as concerned citizens living elsewhere, who are watching this case unfold.

***Update*** From Paul Ditz comment on Facebook:
There’s another conflict here. The deed of trust was prepared by the attorneys for the defendants. This puts the attorneys in an impossible situation ethically. When the church put up property for the defendants it actually puts them in an adversarial role. What would happen, for instance, if one of the defendants told their attorney they weren’t going to show for trial. The attorney would have a duty of confidentiality to that client, while at the same time having a duty to protect the property of his client who posted the property for the bond. They can’t possibly do both.

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