Tag Archives: Jane Whaley

Recap of Events, Motions, and Letters in Fenner Case as of 9/25/15 (court docs)

There is a lot of ground to cover in this post. We will begin with a timeline of known events, filings and letters issued during the last few weeks. Some of these events have already been covered or mentioned here. Also, we will note which ones have been reported by Rccatalyst.com.

In summary, five defendants from the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) were indicted in January of this year on several charges including felony assault and second degree kidnapping stemming from events on January 27, 2013. The five defendants include Brooke M. Covington, Justin B. Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. Tomblin, Farmer & Morris (TFM) started out as counsel for the five. After hearing a Motion to Disqualify TFM on August 3rd, Judge Marvin Pope issued an ORDER of Disqualification of TFM and their associates for representing any of the five. Adam Bartley and Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. have since secured counsel. Bartley’s attorney is Robert Denton and Robert Walker’s attorney is Matthew Cabe. Both attorneys practice in Morganton. TFM filed a Motion to Reconsider the Disqualification and took on Angela Beeker to argue for them. August 27th, Judge Pope issued an ORDER denying the Motion to Reconsider Disqualification.

9/11/15- Letter from Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers to Attorney Denton (not placed in court file until 9/18) (Rccatalyst.com 9/26) Byers explains the State’s position with Bartley’s bond and offered plea. Byers points out that Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) holds the security (land) for the bond and for any reason or no reason have the option to withdraw their security. This could land Bartley in jail until other means or considerations for a bond are made. The power that WOFF has in holding the bonds of all five defendants is a matter of concern or Byers and he is seeking a way of “eliminating this situation.” In this letter, Byers admits concerning the plea, he is “keeping the offer open and disregarding your client’s premature rejection…” This is not a surprise in my eyes.

9/14/15- Attorney Beeker files Motion to Withdraw from counsel and Motion to Continue – Motion to Withdraw has not been heard because of the Stay issued 9/17, therefore Beeker remains as counsel for Brooke, Justin and Sarah- in the eyes of Superior Court. (Rccatalyst.com 9/15)
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Another Chapter of WOFFGATE- Memorandum Filed for Hearing 8/3/15

Rccatalyst.com leads the way again by reporting the “Memorandum of Law” filed this past Friday in the Matthew Fenner Case. This document lays out the Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers’ grounds for the motion to disqualify all of the Tomblin, Farmer Morris firm from representing any of the five defendants in the case. His reasoning includes the argument Josh Farmer put forth for the change of venue hearing now rescheduled for September 21, 2015 at 9:30AM. Quoting from that change of venue motion:

“Defendant is a member of Word of Faith Fellowship, a church that for nearly two decades has been the subject of extraordinary persecution, hatred, bigotry, and discrimination in this county, spurred by the Inside Edition tabloid news, local, national, and international new media coverage, as well as continued social media postings”…

Garland’s motion says – “Given that public perception is key to this motion, the State respectfully shows that defense counsel’s own allegations support the State’s position in bringing the motion to disqualify counsel.”

Garland’s memo also includes several other reasons for the disqualification. Time does not permit me to go through every point; however, I will list a few of the focal points in the motion. As a further explanation, we will add understanding of the background nuances which Garland may or may not be aware of in this case. These nuances may or may not come out on Monday.
Continue reading Another Chapter of WOFFGATE- Memorandum Filed for Hearing 8/3/15

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Plea Offered to Defendant Adam Bartley in Matthew Fenner Case- rccatalyst.com

Saturday, August 01, 2015, in a stunning revelation, rccatalyst.com reported a plea was offered to Adam Bartley on July 22nd. The plea includes dismissal of the Second Degree Kidnapping charge in exchange for a guilty plea on a count Simple Assault. Under this plea agreement, Mr. Bartley would serve no additional prison time but will serve supervised probation. The letter conveying the plea from Garland Byers is in the article as well as the request for Tomblin, Farmer and Morris to withdraw from counsel. The letter was hand delivered to Caleb Farmer at 11:02AM per Garland Byers. See article Plea offered to Bartley. Use the BACK ARROW to return to this post.

No official word if Mr. Bartley has accepted the plea. He may need to secure new counsel before he can officially accept and begin negotiations. Folks, this looks like a great deal for Adam Bartley. No prison time if he agrees to testify to the happenings on that fateful night? Risk going back to jail for what? Why would he not accept? Why did the District Attorney offer the plea to Bartley? My opinion is since this defendant already has a criminal record reported by the Daily Courier Daily Courier reports:
Continue reading Plea Offered to Defendant Adam Bartley in Matthew Fenner Case- rccatalyst.com

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

The Summer of Decision rolls on….

Friday, July 31, 2015; Rccataylst.com in article (rccatalyst.com) 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

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

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Google plus® night…. at WOFF – Guest Post

After much consideration, I decided to post this account of a special service at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). I trust this ‘anonymous’ source. This person provides a poignant insightful perspective into the internal dynamics of this group. In the future, I hope for more explanation as to the content of the meeting and the new terms describing life inside WOFF- “Brockianity” and “Whaleyanity”. I hope you enjoy this account. Let me know your reaction. Share this with your friends.

Google plus® night…. at WOFF

If you think the Google plus® night was about dealing with sin… You are one hundred percent wrong. It will take several posts to fully explain what happened that night. However, there are couple things I would like to highlight, including the mind control techniques Jane applies on the WOFF members. This is psychology 101, by the way.

On the 4th of February of 2014, a Tuesday; a text message went out church wide calling all members for a solemn assembly. Puzzled, I began to wonder the reason for such. The worst scenario was someone may have died, but I was pretty sure by that time, I would have heard about it. I had no idea what was going on. I made some phone calls to some of my buddies to find out if anyone knew what was happening. After exhausting all my avenues, I grew even more puzzled. No one in my cult knew of the upcoming event. This was really unusual since gossip runs like wild fire in that place.

I went to church that night not having the first clue. Upon arrival all members were instructed to go to the sanctuary. No one was allowed in the overflow rooms. The sanctuary was overcrowded, lots of people standing up including children. Shortly after, Jane marches into the room, holding her Bible and a stack of papers… She was late for the meeting, as usual. She always said she was late because she was dealing with sin. If eating, gossiping, or playing with dogs was dealing with sin, then no wonder things there were falling thru her fingers.

Evidently, by the look on her face, she was not having a good day. She was angry, even though she says the devil of anger left her many years ago (LOL).
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Leaving Thought Reform – Spring Thaw and the Resulting Liberty (1)

During the research for my soon to be released book, “Locked in”, I remembered my time within Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and the time shortly after my departure in July 2008. For days on end, the emotions washed over me as I recounted the anxieties, the drama and the choices made during those months. At least part of the struggle was discovering who I really was. It was a “spring thaw” from the many years of my “self” existing frozen in the deep recesses of my soul; put there by the many rules, dictates and practices of WOFF. Those first few months of freedom were full of apprehension, while many times overrun with the questions… what do I do here? How do I? When do I? What if I? I was living free and making choices for the first time in many years.

Through the years since 2008, I learned my struggles were new to me, but not unexpected for one leaving a religious cult or a high-demand group. The feelings and emotions of those days were predictable. There was no one close to me who had traveled the same road and could guide me. In a quest to learn more, I turned to resources- books and online sources. Many a night, I traded sleep for the time to read survivor stories or other resources and/or the freedom to write. Both reading and writing helped sort out the jumbled mess of my life from the years within WOFF.

One of the most valuable resources I found is the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Their online resources are many. July of 2014, I attended their conference in Washington, DC. The people I met and the sessions I attended, deepened my understanding of the dangers and results of high-demand groups. One of the benefits of membership is receiving the publication, ICSA Today.

ICSA Today Magazine volume 5 number 3 2014 – contains an article titled “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Breaking Away from Totalism”, written by Ron Burks, PhD. This is my resource for this post. I will quote from it in order to explain my struggles and those of others leaving WOFF during these days.
Continue reading Leaving Thought Reform – Spring Thaw and the Resulting Liberty (1)

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Summer of Decision- 2015

June is here and soon the official start of the summer. This summer will be like none other in the history of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The month of May produced the most convincing defeat ever in a court case involving Jane Whaley. The inability to convince the judge of her claims shocked her and the leadership team. She encouraged those around her to “just let it go…” Honestly, there may be no follow-up, but will she and her followers “just let it go” and forget this case? Can the legal team forget how Jane performed on the stand? Were they even the slightest bit embarrassed? Can those in leadership who witnessed Jane’s testimony on May 29th forget or excuse the display of less than perfection from their long-time leader? What excuses will be hatched to cover the obvious reduction in her ability to convince others of her righteous, holy lifestyle? Will they talk about it privately away from Jane’s ears and discuss the next step? Will her daughter Robin, Brooke Covington and the missing-in-action-Karel Reynolds review plans for succession to the WOFF throne? Will Gerald and Linda Southerland be included in the discussions or not?

This summer will be the Summer of Decision for everyone inside WOFF.

Why? Simple. August and the months to follow will include the trial for the five indicted WOFF members. Can they enjoy the coming weeks knowing the unknown awaits them? Will the recent court debacle cause them to reconsider their confidence in the defense strategy? How will Jane steady the rocking ship? Does Josh Farmer’s apparent slip in proficiency cause anxiety any of the defendants? If they had doubts and second thoughts, could they share them in simple honesty and not risk being disciplined or shunned for a lack of faith? When they lay down at night in the quiet of their own thoughts and reflections, will they deny the coming reality or recognize the fear inside of them? Will this fear be as a result in the lack of confidence in Jane or the haunting knowing they are guilty as charged? Will any of them seek immunity from the DA? Decisions will be made this summer.
Continue reading Summer of Decision- 2015

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