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