Tag Archives: Judge Gary Gavenus

Friday: Fenner Hearing in Rutherford County (video)

Before the hearing…
“The door is locked.” The crowd standing upstairs in the Rutherford County courthouse included the defendant, Brooke Covington, Kent Covington, Karel Reynolds with Jayne Caulder- who floated in and out of the area. Yes, add to this Word of Fellowship (WOFF) contingency; Matthew Fenner, a few of his family members, supporters and news media. (I was not ready to throw up the red awkward flag, but it was close.) After a few social charged moments mediated by a few laughs, a county official opened the door and we all cautiously entered the courtroom making sure not to touch or encounter any members of the other side.

Once inside the process of choosing your seat began. Strategy and some personal preference led me to sit three rows from the front on the right side with members of Matthew’s family. Before I landed there, I noticed Karel taking out her pen and pad dividing her page into sections as if she were taking attendance and notes for a report to her teacher. Realizing the note taking would be critical, I also began my efforts.

Already in the bar area was District Attorney Ted Bell with his Assistant, David Norris. Over the next few minutes, court employees filtered in and out as preparations were made for the long waited hearing. The highly anticipated Motion for a Change of Venue would be argued along with possible discussion on several other motions. I noticed the clock moving past 2:00PM and felt concerned until Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers enter with defense attorney David Teddy not far behind. Both looked stern as they took their places. Previously, Teddy had invited Brooke to the defense table so; the show was ready to begin.

Calling out the introduction, All rise…. The bailiff announced the Honorable Judge Gary Gavenus was set to preside- this court will now come to order! Be seated.

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Fenner Case: Next Hearing May 19th- 2:00PM

The next chapter in the Matthew Fenner case is scheduled for Friday, May 19th at 2:00PM. Rccatalyst.com reported on May 9th an additional motion placed on the agenda for the hearing. A Motion of Discovery filed by ADA Garland Byers seeks the preview of all documents, photographs, video recordings which Brooke Covington’s defense attorney David Teddy plans to use during trial. The State also requests to learn if Teddy plans to use insanity, self-defense, voluntary or involuntary intoxication as her defense along with the reuqest for a list of any expert witnesses. A copy of the Motion is found in the article at Rccatalyst.com.

The list of Motions include:
– Defendant’s Motion for Change of Venue,
– Defendant’s Motion for a Bill of Particulars ( opposed by the State in Rccatalyst.com-here)
– State’s Motion for Joinder of Offenses for Trial
– State’s Motion in the Alternative to a venue change s Special Venire (jury pool),
– Motion for Discovery

One more motion by the State filed March 22nd- Motion for Jury View & Testimony During Jury View was discussed in a previous hearing, but not listed in the Rccatlyst.com coverage.

The Motion for Change of Venue will determine the future of this case when and where it will be held. The outcome of the Change of Venire will tell us from which county the jury pool will originate, if different from Rutherford County. The Motion for Jury View if approved will allow the jury to visit Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and have Matthew describe in sworn testimony the events that unfolded the fateful night of January 27, 2013. My friends, we are not surprised that Jane Whaley is fighting this Motion with her own attorney, John W. Gresham. She is putting her foot down, her hand held up high and her shrill cry peeling the paint off the walls in warring prayer to squash any effort to cast her beloved sanctuary as a potential crime scene.
Continue reading Fenner Case: Next Hearing May 19th- 2:00PM

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Fenner Case Update: Brooke Covington in Court

Monday morning, Brooke Covington made an appearance in Rutherford County court alongside her attorney David Teddy. Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers scheduled the meeting for a judge to rule on five pending motions in the Matthew Fenner assault case. This case stems from charges involving an incident on January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

Brooke Covington is one of five individuals indicted with charges against them ranging from second degree kidnapping, assault and attempting to inflict injury by strangulation. Adam Bartley, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr., Justin Covington and Sarah Anderson are the others who were indicted. The case has been delayed beyond reasoning with pre-trial motions, rulings, and disqualification of the original WOFF attorneys attempting to represent all five defendants. The disqualification was appealed to the NC Court of Appeals and later withdrawn after one of the petitioners in the appeal, Sarah Anderson, left WOFF and requested new representation.

During Monday’s session, five motions were slated for review.
1. The Defendant’s Motion for Change of Venue;
2. The Defendant]s Motion for a Bill of Particulars;
3. The State’s Motion for Jury View & Testimony During Jury View;
4. The State’s Motion for Joinder of Offenses for Trial; and
5. The State’s Motion for the Alternative for a Special Venire.

The State’s Motion for Jury View required a notice sent to Joshua Farmer as he is known as the “general counsel’ for WOFF. However, attorney John W. Gresham was hired to represent WOFF in opposition to the motion. He has represented Jane Whaley in years past and it came as no surprise he was brought in for this hearing.

As ADA Byers gave the judge a recap of the case, he explained that Judge Thomas Davis has recused himself from the proceedings. Byers has originally scheduled the hearing for May 22nd, but rescheduled for April 24th upon learning that Judge Gary Gavenus was not available in May. Attorney Teddy used the rescheduling as a reason to request for further delay stating he was not prepared to argue the Change of Venue with all the recent publicity about WOFF.

At several points, Gresham attempted to interject his views that the Motion for Jury View was unconstitutional and that he was prepared to provide large photographs of the scene. Finally, Judge Gavenus rebuffed Gresham and told him not to worry about the Motion to View at this time.
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