Several events have colored this year with surprise and even shock. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the Matthew Fenner case has not been one of them. We roll our hopes forward to 2017. The next step in the process will be this Thursday, December 8th.
Rccatalyst.com recently reported the notice filed by Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers requesting four of the five defendants to appear and address pre-trial motions. Adam Bartley’s attorney, Robert Denton will not be available for the hearing and was not listed in the announcement.
This case stems from events of January 27, 2013 inside the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Matthew alleges during a session of blasting deliverance prayer he was held against his will and assaulted including an attempt to strangle him. This form of prayer has been a controversial signature practice of WOFF since its inception over thirty years ago. Continue reading Hearing Set in Matthew Fenner Case –Dec. 8th→
As a part of recent book signings for “Locked in”, I have fielded questions from attendees. The ranges of questions include certain ones which try to comprehend what type of leader Jane Whaley was or is now.
Today, I will quote from a resource written about dangerous groups and point the question to other members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Ray Farmer? Josh Farmer? Mark Morris? Brooke Covington? Karel Reynolds? Will you take the following descriptions of group leaders and decide what kind of leader you are following? This description was not written specifically with Jane Whaley in mind. So, do not get defensive and think I wrote this myself or gave the authors the inside scoop. If none of this applies, then tell us your own words
Our resource for this post is a book titled, “The Cult Phenomenon- How Groups Function.” The text was originally written in French in 2003 and translated to English in 2006. The authors are Mike Kropveld, Executive Director of Info-Cult and Marie-Andree Pelland, Doctoral Student in Criminology- Universite de Montreal. (ISBN-2-9808258-1-6) I bought this book in July of 2014 at the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference in Washington, D.C. Continue reading Who is Jane Whaley to you?→
Thursday, October 8, 2015, in Rutherford County Superior Court there was a hearing held in the civil case brought by Robert Lewis Walker Jr. and Sarah Covington Anderson against Jerry Cooper Rccatalyst.com wrote about the case here when telling about the arrest of Jerry Cooper in the criminal case brought by Jane Whaley which was dismissed on May 29th. Mediation in the civil case did not bring a solution. The civil case surrounds Jerry Cooper’s Facebook posting commenting on the WRAL story of Matthew Fenner’s story of the events of from January 27, 2013. The issues in front of the court Thursday included a subpoena of the phone records of Danielle Cordez and Matthew Fenner.
One of the obvious differences on Thursday was the absence of any other WOFF members except Mark Morris, Hannah Davies and one other young WOFF member sitting in the attorney area. Mark Morris spoke as the lead attorney for Walker and Covington. Attorney Paul Ditz represented Jerry Cooper in this case.
About 2:12PM, Mark Morris leads off the session. The issues discussed included the requirements to obtain phone records from Ms. Cordez in Florida. In the end, this issue was not concluded as Judge Davis required more information from the attorneys. The process for an out of state party to obtain private records from a Florida resident is more involved than in North Carolina.
In the session, the definitions of libel and defamation were reviewed and rules quoted. During the discussion of the subpoena of Matthew Fenner’s records, Judge Davis asked, “Who Is Matthew Fenner?” In retrospect, the question did not mean, “I don’t know about Matthew Fenner.” I believe this was a way to get information into the court records about Mr. Fenner and related matters. Judge Davis presided over the initial hearings in the Fenner case as reported by Rccatatlyst.com. Continue reading Judge Tommy Davis- Who is Matthew Fenner?→
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.” Continue reading DISQUALIFICATION!!!→
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→
Before we get to the results for the “Best of Rutherford 2013” survey, let me explain certain mistakes I generally make. First, I make the mistake of thinking that others outside of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and the drama circle around them even care about it. It is apparent to me as time goes on, that not everyone in Rutherford County first off even knows about WOFF and second- even care. And furthermore, just because someone has been touched by Jane Whaley’s gift does not make them perceptive enough to understand the darker side of the activities inside of WOFF. So, when you don’t know and you don’t care to know- then you don’t have a reason to pay attention to any of the happenings concerning WOFF or its members.
All that has been said to help explain that Matt Clark, editor of the Daily Courier, has given me no reason in the past to think he has an opinion one way or the other about the drama surrounding WOFF. In times past, he has been non-responsive to any issues I have introduced. A few days ago, I again made the mistake of thinking he had a reason to care. My opinion is now that he has a newspaper/website/Facebook® page to oversee. After considering what I had to tell him, he must have thought it of no concern since he already knew the results of the survey and he knew I did not. I respect him for that and will go forward with that understanding.