Tag Archives: Tomblin Farmer Morris

Fenner Case: Sarah Anderson’s Bond Replaced, Status Conference Scheduled for July 29th

Rccatalyst.com reported on that Wednesday, a bail bondsman contacted Sarah Anderson at her home seeking to take her into custody. Earlier, Ray Farmer of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) withdrew the surety bond (property deed) which served to secure her $15,000 bond. This surety allowed her freedom while the assault and kidnapping charges against her in the Matthew Fenner case were investigated and tried. This action by WOFF has been available to them since January 2015. From a purely unemotional standpoint, this was a defensive move on WOFF’s part. However, given the lateness of the hour when it was initiated, the action was carried out in an offensive posture. We see the true nature of “Christian” church that WOFF professes to be. Is anyone shocked?

Sources close to the case relayed the glee displayed by Ray Farmer when he knew Sarah was apprehended and on her way to the courthouse. The overt displayed of joy at Sarah’s plight portrays in actions what many have known for years. The philosophy and modus operandi of WOFF has been to initiate as much pain and emotional distress as possible on those who dare leave and tell their secrets. If prophesying doom and harm will not work for those who consider leaving, then put actions to your predictions and make it hard for a defector to assume or resume a normal life. Sounds like the kind of healthy Christian love we all want-right?

Sarah secured a replacement bond and was not detained for any length of time at the courthouse. Ray’s goal of inflicting a night of complete embarrassment and emotional pain was averted for the most part.
Continue reading Fenner Case: Sarah Anderson’s Bond Replaced, Status Conference Scheduled for July 29th

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June 6th Hearing for Fenner Case Delayed

Late Friday, sources close to the Matthew Fenner case confirmed the hearing set for June 6th has been postponed. No confirmed date for rescheduling is available at this time. Possible reasons for the postponement include Judge Pope having an unexpected scheduling conflict.

The hearing on Monday would have been the first in this case since August of last year. Five defendants, who were at the time of the alleged incidents members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), face varied charges including second degree kidnapping, simple assault and one for assault by strangulation. These defendants are Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, JR. and Adam Bartley.

Matthew Fenner alleges that on January 27, 2013, he was assaulted in the sanctuary of WOFF during a “deliverance” session. The five defendants were named and indicted in December 2014 after an initial hearing. Once the new District Attorney Ted Bell took office in January 2015, he set aside those indictments amid rumors of improper procedures and possible witness tampering and presented the evidence to a second grand jury. This session secured for the State a set of indictments which Bell described as clean true bills of indictment. [ Timeline for this case – here.]
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Farmer Files Withdrawal of Appeal

Disqualification of WOFF Attorneys Stands

March 17, 2016- Josh Farmer filed an “Appellant’s Motion to Withdraw Appeal” with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The reasons for the appeal include the fact-

“3. On March 4, 2016- Sarah Anderson retained the independent counsel of Jeffrey Cooper and Benjamin Cooper to represent her in the criminal matter.

4. The remaining appellants, Brooke McFadden Covington and Justin Brock Covington, desire to withdraw their appeal.”

This motion to withdraw allows the Disqualification ORDER of Judge Marvin Pope to stand. Tomblin, Farmer and Morris, now- Farmer and Morris LAW, PLLC or their associates can no longer represent any of the five defendants in any matter related to the indictments/charges in this case.

wd of appeal March 17th

This clears the way for another court date to resolve pre-trial motions involving change of venue, change of venire as well as keeping Judge Pope for the remainder of the case. It is reasonable to assume the next court date for this case will be within a month.
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After a glance to 2015, we look forward…

Judges chair
Judges chair

Before many of us settle into the first Monday of 2016, I need to take a few lines and recap what has been a year full of surprises. Of course, there will be events I don’t mention that were important to others. If you feel so compelled, comment and share with us your signature events of 2015.

On January 22, 2015, the Daily Courier reported the reindictment of the five defendants in the Matthew Fenner Case. This reindictment came after the new District Attorney for Rutherford County, Ted Bell, expressed his concern over the processes surrounding the first round of indictments in December 2014, during the tenure of District Attorney, Brad Greenway. See the post- “Word of Faith Fellowship members re-indicted- Daily Courier”

The five Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members who were indicted include Brooke McFadden Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. The charges include second degree kidnapping and simple assault for all five with an additional charge of assault inflicting physical injury by strangulation against Sarah Anderson. These charges stem from the events of January 27, 2013 inside the sanctuary of WOFF. The story of the indictments was picked up nationally and internationally after the first round of indictments in December 2014. Again, bringing attention to the unsafe practices of WOFF.
Continue reading After a glance to 2015, we look forward…

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Walker, Anderson vs. Jerry Cooper (f/k/a Jerry Butcher) – Case Dismissed

In Rutherford County Superior Court, on December 21, 2015 at 11:47AM, concerning file number 15 CVS 32; an order for dismissal with prejudice was entered by Judge Tommy Davis. My understanding is the decision can be appealed, but the exact same allegations cannot be pursued against Mr. Cooper in the future by these plaintiffs. Judge Davis offered the opinion of the Court that there was “no genuine issue of material fact.” This opinion came just four days after a session last Thursday in which Judge Davis offered several pointed questions toward Mr. Josh Farmer, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Davis dismisses case
Davis dismisses case

Rccatalyst.com posted news of the dismissal on Tuesday. In this article, Judge Davis is quoted from Thursday’s hearing as saying to Josh Farmer, “Why are you picking on this individual? Do you have a grudge against him?” Also, Judge Davis asked why Farmer was not suing the other involved parties such as the AP or the reporter, Mitch Weiss who wrote the article upon which Mr. Cooper commented with the statement-“True story.” Mr. Farmer said his clients still may have recourse against other parties. In brief, this lawsuit alleges damages from Jerry Cooper posting the comment “True story” in relation to an AP article stating the facts surrounding the Matthew Fenner criminal case. The Fenner case has five defendants from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) facing charges including second degree kidnapping, assault. In addition, Sarah Anderson also faces a charge of assault by strangulation. These charges stem from incidents on January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of WOFF.
Continue reading Walker, Anderson vs. Jerry Cooper (f/k/a Jerry Butcher) – Case Dismissed

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Judge Tommy Davis- Who is Matthew Fenner?

Superior Court in Rutherford County
Superior Court in Rutherford County

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.
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NC Court of Appeals to Review Judge Pope’s Orders (Court Docs +)

Update in the Matthew Fenner Case:
The NC Court of Appeals granted the request for writ of certiorari submitted on September 15th by Josh Farmer on behalf of the three defendants, Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Sarah Anderson. Rccatalyst.com reported this ruling on Monday. From the article which quotes the order:

“Defendants’ petition for writ of certiorari is allowed for the purpose of reviewing the order entered on 6 August 2015 by Judge Marvin Pope, Jr. granting the State’s motion to disqualify counsel and the order entered on 27 August 2015 by Judge Pope denying the Defendants’ motion for reconsideration. It appearing the defendants have retained appellate counsel and are not seeking court-appointed counsel, the appeal shall be deemed taken as of the date of this order. The record on appeal shall thereafter be settled as provided in Appellate Rule 11 and filed in the Court as provided by Appellate Rule 12.

Defendant’s petition for writ of supersedeas is also allowed… and all further trial court proceedings are hereby stayed pending the outcome of defendants’ appeal to this Court.”

Included in the quoted article is a copy of the docket sheet for the case showing 10/5/15 as the date of the ruling.

What does this mean? From a layman’s perspective, this means the trial could actually be delayed for several months at a minimum. It appears to me that the first step will be to acquire the transcripts from the Superior Court sessions on August 3rd and August 27th. Those could take up to 60 days from the date of the initial request for the transcripts. After those are submitted to the appropriate parties, there comes a set time frame for each party to the appeal to agree on the accuracy of the submitted materials.
Continue reading NC Court of Appeals to Review Judge Pope’s Orders (Court Docs +)

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