Estranged evangelists Thomas Weeks and Juanita Bynum meet, no resolution yet

National evangelist Juanita Bynum on Monday finally met with her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III, and his attorney for a deposition in preparation for divorce proceedings.

The meeting, which began at 9 a.m. in the law office of Randy Kessler, attorney for Weeks, lasted for more than six hours.

Bynum came to the deposition with her attorney, Karla Walker, of Valdosta.

Weeks, who will face criminal charges Tuesday for allegedly beating Bynum, also attended the meeting. So did Ed Garland, his defense attorney in the criminal case.

The deposition lasted for about three hours, but the group continued a closed-door discussion afterwards.

Weeks emerged from the law office about 3:40 p.m. smiling.

“Things are good, they are always good,” he said as the elevator doors closed behind him.

Ten minutes later, Bynum appeared in black coat and tinted sunglasses. When asked was the divorce resolved she said “no,” and would not comment further.

Kessler sought a court order to sit Bynum down for a deposition after several attempts to meet with the pastor failed because of scheduling conflicts. He said he wanted an opportunity to talk with Bynum on the record about allegations of cruelty in the marriage before the divorce case went to court. The couple has been separated since June.

Kessler said he asked Bynum what she would accuse Weeks of and what Bynum did to Weeks in their stormy marriage.

“This was a normal standard deposition,” Kessler said. “There was no yelling and arguing. I think it was helpful for everybody.”

At about 1:50 p.m. the attorneys a^‚¬” Kessler, Walker and Garland a^‚¬” left the law office to go to lunch and talk. Garland would not say why he attended the proceedings.

Bynum and Weeks remained in the law office while their lawyers, who didn’t return by the close of the business day, were away. A lawyer at Kessler’s firm, Monica Hanrahan said she later joined the couple but would not say what was being discussed.

Kessler returned alone after 5 p.m. and said the divorce case and criminal case share similarities. Bynum also has alleged abuse in the divorce case. She is seeking divorce for “cruel treatment.”

“The facts are the same,” Kessler said. “She is claiming mental cruelty based on the incident that occurred on Aug. 21.”

On that day Weeks allegedly assaulted Bynum in the Renaissance Concourse Hotel parking lot near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Garland was in the law office while Bynum was deposed, which allowed him to hear the testimony of the main witness in the criminal case the day before trial, scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. today in Fulton County Superior Court.

Garland will be representing Weeks as he faces charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and simple battery. Weeks has pleaded not guilty and has said that he has been a victim of domestic violence in his marriage to Bynum.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday March 11, 2008.
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