Tag Archives: Justin Covington

Resumo dos recentes acontecimentos e processos judiciais

Uma dificuldade que eu encontro ao escrever este blog nos últimos anos é fazer com que novos leitores entendam o conteúdo e a história principal. Leitores leem por um tempo, depois perdem interesse. Semanas ou meses mais tarde, quando retornam é difícil de enterder o drama que perderam. Essa é uma razão que eu fiz a página “Quick Links”. Há certas mensagens são agrupadas por assunto. Tire um tempo para visitar essa página quando puder. Páginas são listados entre o post mais recente eo banner no topo da página inicial.

O post vai recontar os eventos que cercam o caso Mateus Fenner. Nós não teremos espaço para recontar cada detalhe; no entanto, vamos rever os eventos cruciais que terminam com alguns eventos judiciais recentes. Este é o nosso primeiro post disponibilizados em Inglês e em Português. Por favor, compartilhe esta notícia com os nossos amigos no Brasil. Agradeço aos que me concientisaram desta necessidade. Obrigado. Estou muito animado para adicionar Português a este blog!

14 de outubro de 2014-
Um editorial apareceu no site da rcCatalyst.com delineando as difficuldade que Mateus Fenner encontrou para que finalmente sucedesse na apresentação de acusações de agressão contra cinco membros da Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Em busca de justiça, Mateu foi instruido para fazer suas acusaçoes ao magistrado. O promotor informou-o que precisava fazer a denúncia ao xerife. Ele persistiu até que finalmente um policial aceitou a denúncia. O editorial afirma Matthew tinha fotos dos ferimentos após o assalto e que ele é uma vítima de um crime de ódio. O Procurador do Distrito Rutherford County na época era Brad Greenway e Chris Francis o xerife. Os funcionário, e oficiais envolvidos não demostraram enteresse nenhum de procedir com o depoimento. Ao encerrar o editorial, “Este é um caso a ser vigiado. Não só você tem que ser muito claro sobre seus direitos civis, mas também com a nossa persistente aplicação da lei atual e procuradores … Obrigado por fazer a coisa certa, mesmo com as probabilidades empilhadas contra você. ”
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DISQUALIFICATION!!!

This conclusive ruling by Judge Marvin Pope caps off a week of big developments in the Matthew Fenner case. Friday, the ruling was made public on rccatalyst.com. Judge Pope granted the State’s motion for disqualification of all attorneys affiliated with Tomblin, Farmer and Morris (TFM). The attorneys listed on the TFM website include Joshua Farmer, Andrea Farmer, Mark Morris and Caleb Farmer. This ruling bars them from representing in any manner in the defense of any of the five defendants.

From the rccatalyst.com article, “The representation of five co-defendants in this cause of action (now four co-defendants) is a concurrent conflict of interest which exists and cannot effectively be waived by a defendant absent knowledge of what a co-defendant may testify on behalf of the State against the remaining co-defendants.”

Additionally, from the ruling, “This disqualification of an attorney does not mean that the attorney has violated a specific disciplinary rule.”

In granting the motion the judge also requested the District Attorney to “calendar a court date for the Court to advise the remaining defendants of their right to counsel, either appointed or a waiver of their right co counsel.”
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WOFFGATE- Another Motion Filed Thursday in Matthew Fenner Case

Rcatalyst.com reports this story. Another motion was filed by Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers in the Matthew Fenner case on Thursday. “This is a Notice of Hearing on a Motion for Special Venire from Another County.” This motion is for the jury selection in the trial of five defendants in the Matthew Fenner case: Brooke Covington, Sarah Anderson, Justin Covington, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. The charges in the case include simple assault and second degree kidnapping. Sarah also faces a charge for allegedly attempting to strangle Matthew.

The hearing is scheduled for September 21, 2015 at 9:30AM which is the same session in which the Change of Venue request filed earlier in the year by Tomblin, Farmer and Morris is set to be heard.

From the article, “The State asserts that the Defendants can receive a fair trial in Rutherford County. The N.C. Supreme Court has held that the existence of pretrial publicity by itself does not establish a reasonable likelihood that a defendant cannot receive a fair trial in the county where the crime was committed.

Byers further states that it is logistically impractical to have the trial in another county. Additionally, the appearance of any special treatment to these defendants should be avoided. …the State requests that jurors be brought in from Buncombe County, NC. The requirement of Jurors to travel to a county different from their residence is expressly authorized by the N.C. state statute.”

What does this mean? It means two things to me. First, Mr. Byers is attempting in every way to provide an environment where this case can be fairly heard for victim and defendants. Second, having the jurors brought in will in some regards may create more media attention. I do not believe this aspect of the trial is under direct control of Mr. Byers, nor should it be. This case has and will continue to be newsworthy to many in NC and across the country. Certainly, a scenario of five potential aggressors versus one victim is noteworthy. The laws of our State are meant to protect victims in these situations and justly penalize the aggressors.

The Summer of Decision rolls on. Hot, hot and hotter. How will this be played inside WOFF? We may never know or will we? Also, a much awaited decision on the disqualification of the attorneys from Tomblin, Farmer and Morris is expected any time. The ruling regarding the disqualification will add yet another layer of intrigue to this case- no matter how the judge rules. Return daily, there is so much breaking news in this case and the trial has not even begun!

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WOFFGATE-Stunning Developments in Rutherford County

This morning the Superior Courtroom was alive with action. There were several items on the docket which required plenty of attorneys. The session was scheduled to start at 9:30AM. I arrived at 9:15AM and met Matthew Fenner and his supporters in the foyer of the courthouse. We entered the room taking seats on the right side of the courtroom, most sitting toward the front. The only member of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) present at that moment was Karel Reynolds. Soon, the others made their way in and the beehive of activity ebbed and flowed as attorneys milled in their area and onlookers took seats and spoke in hushed tones. The cameraman for WLOS Channel 13 waiting outside the courtroom door on hold for permission to film or take pictures.

About 9:50AM, Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers along with Josh Farmer approached the bench where the judge was setting up his computer for the session at hand. Probably, the permission for video was discussed and the judge agreed to rule on it soon. The activity continued as conversations in different corners buzzed with the issues at hand.

At 10:03AM, the court was called to order, all stood as Judge Marvin Pope entered and was seated. At last, we were beginning. I was in the front row and surely missed the ebb and flow of any dramas behind me. Much to my dismay, there were other court cases on the docket. Two defendants were heard and their cases processed. This only added to the overwhelming anticipation. Come on, let’s get rolling!

At 10:34AM- Mr. Byers steps off to the left side of his table, glancing down at documents and addressed the judge saying there were two matters before the court which were not on the docket. In order to brief the judge, the attorneys agreed to retire to the judge’s chambers and give the background of the matters at hand. Another wait… Again, hurry up and wait was the order of the day- normal for court sessions, right? Oh, the excitement was rising to a fever pitch, at least in my mind.

11:00AM, the attorneys for each party and the judge reentered the courtroom. Ray Farmer was called to the front. He was sworn in and took his place on the witness stand. From here, let me say again the acoustics were not great and I may miss what some others would consider important parts of the testimony. I may concentrate on something others may find as minute. But, at least, the hearing started.
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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.
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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

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WOFF Defendants First Appearance- 4+1

Thursday morning, defendants named in the Matthew Fenner case gathered at the Rutherford County Courthouse in Superior courtroom number two. Gathered with them were family, friends and leadership from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). I attended to support Matthew and be a witness to the proceedings. The first part of the morning session was filled with probation violation hearings. A wide assortment of folks made their way to the attorney’s table for defendants. Some were wearing striped clothing.

Present were the four defendants who still live inside WOFF. Brooke Covington, Sarah Anderson, Justin Covington, and Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. Family and friends of this group were gathered close to the front. Karel Reynolds, dressed in black and Jayne Caulder were sitting further back as guards and witnesses – I suppose. Josh Farmer, David Blake Caulder, Mark Morris and Caleb Farmer were all in and out of the lawyer’s area up front. Caleb was in zone defense and actually perched near me briefly. He did not speak, but he did nod. During the morning, glances and stares were exchanged between the WOFF sections and the right side of the courtroom. As with most every other courtroom, the acoustics were terrible. I sat on the second row and still had to strain to hear. The temperature climbed until the always moving bailiff adjusted the temperature controls. I sat in the unofficial press corner with a survivor advocate, a reporter from the AP, a reporter from the Daily Courier and one from rccatalyst.com. Family members and other supporters of Matthew took seats near the back of the room.

Just when it seemed like this session could stretch in to the afternoon, the judge called for a fifteen minute break. Judge Davis left the room for a while; I stayed to chat with those around me. During this break, the four WOFF defendants were lead to the front by Mr. Farmer where each one in turn raised their right hand and appeared to take an oath! Yes, I was a witness to the swearing. Though, I do not know exactly they were swearing to, but I have an idea it was to telling the truth. (maybe) Each of the four signed a document and returned to their seat on the left side of the courtroom. Once the session was called back into order, the last few probation cases were heard. Then the players moved into position, it was show time.

“Sarah Anderson?”

Sarah rises from her chair and glides through half door separating the players from the sitters, easing to her spot beside Mark Morris. The dialogue was difficult to hear, but catching bits and pieces I heard the Judge ask Sarah if she was understood the charges against her. He advised her of her right to a public defender if she could not afford an attorney. Yes, just a formality with faithful Mark beside her. She was instructed to step forward and sign a waiver for the right to a public defender and told her next court date would be August 19th. After these remarks and having signed the waiver for public counsel, she resumed her glide back through the half door and out of the courtroom or at least away from the action at the front. Her husband followed on a short string right behind her.
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