Tag Archives: Sarah Anderson

Fenner Update: Defense Calls No Witnesses, Case Goes to the Jury

Today’s testimony by State witness Rachel Bryant confirmed the meeting held at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Jane Whaley’s office as attended by several church member attorneys with the purpose of coordinating and coaching a strategy to counteract the charges filed in this case. The list of attendees sounded more extensive to me and I believe had an effect on what occurred later in the day. Ms. Bryant was the second witness in this trial to tell of the gathering, however, she did not attend the follow-up meeting in the sanctuary outlined in earlier testimony by Sarah Anderson.

The State also called a man who worked as a Detective Special Agent for the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) in 1995, Mr. Shook. He was present during the March 1995 interview of Brooke Covington and relayed information from that investigation. That session centered on an incident from 1988 where WOFF members were involved in restraining a lady to a bed for 13 days for an extended “deliverance” session. Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers said the purpose for introducing the testimony was to affirm that when Brooke told Matthew, ‘You are going nowhere until these devils come out, I don’t care if I takes three days,’- she meant it.

After much discussion between Byers and Teddy over Rule 44-B, Judge Gavenus disallowed the admission of Det. Shook’s testimony and the jury never heard about the 1995 SBI investigation into WOFF from which then District Attorney Jeff Hunt decided not to pursue charges.

In retrospect, if Hunt had pursued charges in 1995, whether convictions were obtained or not; is it possible we would not have had the countless lives negatively affected by WOFF over the years since and the incidents involving today’s case never would have occurred? We will never know for certain. At a minimum, the evolution for “blasting prayer” to become “more and more aggressive over the last 16 years…” as Sarah Anderson testified during trial– may have been avoided. The entire WOFF subculture could have taken on a different nature- a healthier one. (Sigh)
Continue reading Fenner Update: Defense Calls No Witnesses, Case Goes to the Jury

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fenner Case Update- Three Witnesses Testify for the State

At the close of Friday’s session, Judge Gary Gavenus announced with a smile that the jury was excused for the weekend recess. After two full days of witness testimony on behalf of the prosecution in the Matthew Fenner case, he ended with the often repeated precautions for the jury to not expose themselves to outside sources of information including news media, Internet or social media. He added they were not to talk to each other, family or anyone else about the case in any manner. His instructions were firm, but laced with an underlying tone of respect and consideration for the fourteen individuals who answered the call for this jury session.

This has been a full week as several Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members, former church members, press correspondents and supporters endured two full days to select the needed jurors. After the last alternate juror was selected and the Judge gave the jury instructions; Matthew Fenner was the first witness called for the State on Thursday. He testified the rest of the day. As a result of each potential witness being sequestered (not present in the courtroom during any testimony of other witnesses), the gallery was less full than in the previous two days.

In an attempt to time my arrival, I missed the first part of Matthew’s testimony which included his description of the events of January 27, 2013. I was told by one who heard it; they believed it was emotional and impactful. I have not doubt. The part of Matthew’s testimony outlining the events leading up to his escape is where my notes start.
Continue reading Fenner Case Update- Three Witnesses Testify for the State

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fenner Hearing Reveals Queen(s) for the Day…..

Updated: December 9, 2016 10:31 AM
The Hearing held December 8th in the Fenner case answered some questions and left many still unanswered. By the time I entered Courtroom #2, the discussions of the State’s request for the Honorable Judge Marvin Pope to hear all cases related to the indictments were well under way. The Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) crowd was seated in the back right of the room close to the main entry door. This was not the normal front left position as in previous sessions. The media and others not affiliated with WOFF were sitting on the left side. Of course, I found a seat up about middle left.

Today was yet another small chapter in the ongoing saga of the Matthew Fenner case. Events from January 27, 2013 are in question. Five present and former WOFF members were formally indicted in January 2015. The indictments against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. who are still members and Adam Bartley and Sarah Anderson, former members; include second degree kidnapping, first degree assault and one count of inflicting injury by attempted strangulation. After initially attempting to represent all five defendants, WOFF attorneys Joshua Farmer, Mark Morris and all their associates were disqualified by Judge Pope in August 2015.

As a result, all five defendants have separate counsel. Brooke Covington is represented by David Teddy. Justin Covington is represented by Krinn Evans. Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. is represented by Matthew Cabe. Sarah Covington is represented by the Cooper Firm. Adam Bartley is represented by Robert Denton who also represents Nicholas Anderson in his civil case for divorce and custody against Sarah. All five defendants and their counsel were present today.

Now, back to the hearing….
Continue reading Fenner Hearing Reveals Queen(s) for the Day…..

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hearing Set in Matthew Fenner Case –Dec. 8th

Judges chair
Judges chair

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

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Denton Withdraws Subpoena for Matthew Fenner

Early Wednesday morning, in the Nicholas Anderson versus Sarah Anderson divorce/custody case, attorney Robert Denton, representing the plaintiff, Nicholas Anderson, filed a “Withdrawal of: Motion to Compel Richard Matthew Fenner, III (to) Attend Deposition & Subpoena.” This turn of events occurred just slightly less than forty-eight hours after he filed a “Motion to Compel” Matthew Fenner to attend a deposition.

Monday’s Motion to Compel contained this statement about Matthew:

“Counsel seeks to depose (ask under oath) Mr. Fenner for the purposes of ascertaining Defendant’s (Sarah Anderson) character traits, propensities (tendencies), and the like, for violence.” [(- ) added ]

What happened to change his course? Without asking Mr. Denton directly, we do know he deposed Sarah Anderson on Tuesday for a lengthy session. What did he hear to change his mind? Apparently, he learned enough to reverse course and decide against putting Matthew under oath. He includes the following in his Withdrawal:

“…the undersigned (Denton) took the deposition of the Defendant on today’s date (Tuesday) and determined based on her testimony that at this time there is deposition necessary of Richard Matthew Fenner.”
Withdrawal of Motion to Compel
Continue reading Denton Withdraws Subpoena for Matthew Fenner

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Matthew Fenner Subpoenaed Again in Unrelated Case

Friday afternoon a Motion to Quash was filed in Rutherford County in the Anderson vs. Anderson divorce/custody case. (16 CVD 253). The Motion filed by attorney Paul Ditz seeks relief from the subpoena served on Matthew Fenner for a deposition hearing August 31, 2016 in Chapel Hill, NC. Ditz’s Motion included statements about the ongoing harassment of Matthew by members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and their newest puppet attorney- Robert K. Denton. The Anderson vs. Anderson case involves Nicholas Anderson a present WOFF member versus Sarah Covington Anderson a former WOFF member.

Motion to Quash

Mr. Denton also represents Adam Bartley in the criminal case for Matthew Fenner’s allegations concerning incidents from January 27, 2013. In that case, five present and/or former members of WOFF were indicted on charges including second degree kidnapping, simple assault and assault inflicting injury by strangulation. These defendants include Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. as well as Adam Bartley. The criminal case has been drawn out by pretrial motions and appeals. The next hearing date for the case is not known, but the most notable outcome thus far has been the Disqualification of WOFF bred attorneys – Joshua Farmer and Mark Morris and all their associates from representing any of the five defendants. Thus, we now see evidence of a puppet attorney – the honorable Robert Denton.
Continue reading Matthew Fenner Subpoenaed Again in Unrelated Case

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fenner Case: Status Conference for July 29th Postponed

Earlier this week, a source not close to the case informed me that the status conference scheduled for July 29th has been postponed. After verifying the change with additional sources, it was learned that Judge Pope could not be present for the hearing. No subsequent date for this hearing is known at this time.

Let’s not be too concerned. This case will be heard. It may not be in the time frame that many desire or with procedures we are all familiar with; but the charges against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr and Adam Bartley will be resolved. Matthew Fenner will have an answer as to the charges filed over the incident on January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

The signature practice of loud prayer and deliverance from WOFF may be on demonstration in the Rutherford County courtroom before these cases are complete. Okay, that will be the day for any and all who are curious to pack the courtroom and witness the controversial “secretive practice” which has been a lightning rod for controversy since 1995 when Inside Edition showed video taken inside WOFF. How can we forget? Why should we ignore it?

When all is said and done with this case, there will be a judgment handed down by proxy on WOFF, loud deliverance prayer and the ministry of Jane Whaley and her top leadership. Yes, five individuals are charged with various levels of crimes, but in the end — Jane Whaley is on trial and she knows it.

Did anyone mention how hot the month of August will be in Spindale?
Continue reading Fenner Case: Status Conference for July 29th Postponed

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,