Terry Hornbuckle: Jurors ask for definition of burden of proof

FORT WORTH — Jurors in Terry Hornbuckle’s sexual assault trial sent out a flurry of notes in about an hour Friday morning concerning two of the Arlington pastors’ accusers.

It was the fourth day of deliberation in the trial, and jurors have spent about 16 hours so far trying to decide their verdicts on three charges.

The first note Friday dealt with a conversation that the mother of Krystal Buchanan, one of the accusers, testified she had with football star Deion Sanders.

Loretta Sheppard said Sanders called and asked her to “hold off” on acting after she learned of her daughter’s allegations.

The jury wanted to know if Sanders told Sheppard that he was getting help for Hornbuckle or that he and Bishop T.D. Jakes were getting help for Hornbuckle, according to state district Judge Scott Wisch.

Jurors are considering three charges of sexual assault against Hornbuckle, the 44-year-old founder of Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington. Each charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Buchanan, 23, a former member of Agape, accused Hornbuckle of drugging and raping her inside a Euless apartment. A second woman, Jane Doe, 25, also a former parishioner, said that she went to Hornbuckle for spiritual advice and that their counseling sessions turned sexual four or five times.

In Texas, it’s against the law for a clergyman to exploit a parishioner’s emotional dependency for sex.

The third accuser, Kate Jones, 34, who met Hornbuckle at a fitness club, said he drugged and raped her after they smoked methamphetamine together.

Two of the jury’s other notes Friday morning sought testimony from Jane Doe and Buchanan, the judge said.

The other asked the juge for the definition of “burden of proof” in a rape case. The judge denied that request, telling the jury that their instructions gave them all the guidance they needed on that question.

Jurors sent out another note at 11 a.m., but it was not immediately clear what it entailed. Sent out note another 11 am

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Star-Telegram, USA
Aug. 18, 2006
Traci Shurley

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 18, 2006.
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