Hurricane Irma and the Matthew Fenner Case

What do Hurricane Irma and the Matthew Fenner case have in common? Predictable unpredictability.

Weather predictors do their job with computer models and the circumstances as they unfold, attempting to predict the course and strength of this massive storm which did not followed the earlier predictions. Early predictions had the storm following a similar course as Hurricane Matthew from last year, along the east side of Florida. This did not happen. We hear statements now saying parts of the predictions came true while others did not. Weather prognostications are just that- best guesses.

In January 2015, if a legal prognosticator had attempted to predict the course and time frame that the Matthew Fenner case would take to complete, how accurate would they have been? There have been twists, turns and flips in the course of the prosecution of five defendants from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) which I doubt anyone could have foreseen.

The recently published a updated timeline of the events surrounding this case. This case involves events from January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of WOFF where in Matthew Fenner alleges he was beaten and held against his will because he was gay. Indictments for first degree assault and second degree kidnapping were handed down in January 2015 against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. An additional charge of inflicting injury by strangulation was filed against Sarah Anderson.

The pre-trial motions were numerous. The original counsel for the five defendants, Farmer and Morris, led by Joshua Farmer and Mark Morris was disqualified in August 2015. The appeal of that disqualification was eventually withdrawn in 2016 after Sarah Anderson left WOFF and secured her own counsel. Brooke Covington stood trial earlier this year and the outcome of a mistrial were predictably unpredictable, right?

This is September 2017. Today there is a status conference to , hear a motion allowing Robert Denton to withdraw as counsel to Adam Bartley. The change of venue motion will also be heard and who knows what else? The outcome for this hearing is like others before it. Unpredictable. Will Judge Pope allow Robert Denton to drop this case and Adam Bartley to obtain a public defender? My sources are not certain.The new defender would predictably ask for months to prepare his/her case. The change of venue motion entered by Judge Pope is almost a sure thing, right? Really?

Having believed earlier predictions about Irma which turned out to be inaccurate, I will not be in the Rutherford County courtroom today. Once the outcome is known, I will share it here.

In other matters, the Charlotte Observer earlier reported comments by U. S. Attorney Jill Rose indicating progress in the investigation into the treatment of Brazilians inside the WOFF subculture. This investigation comes after the Associated Press released and article detailing Brazilian ex-members involved in potential visa violations by working for little to no pay during their time with WOFF.

While we know the investigation into WOFF and their doings continues, when anything will be made public or indictments for Jane Whaley or any of her leadership is predictably unpredictable. This is a waiting game.

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Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Jane told me and Josh confirmed it.

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(Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 615.

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