Arkansas judge keeps 20 children associated with evangelist Alamo in state care

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Arkansas judge keeps 20 children associated with evangelist Alamo in state care

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas judge says 20 children removed from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound by child welfare officials will temporarily remain in state custody.

A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Monday’s ruling came after parents waived a hearing over the Nov. 18 seizure.

DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell would not say when another hearing will be held on the status of the boys and girls.

Hearings continue on whether six other girls removed from the compound in September will remain in state custody.

– Source: Arkansas judge keeps 20 children associated with evangelist Alamo in state care, AP via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 24, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) – Controversial Evangelical Leader Tony Alamo spoke only to KSLA News 12 just moments after taking the stand Monday afternoon. The hearing was to decide the fate of two sets of sisters taken from Alamo’s ministry during a raid back in August.

KSLA TV report

“I wish I could be cross examined by somebody who knows the Bible.” Handcuffed in shackles and guarded under tight security, Alamo spoke as authorities were preparing to return him to jail.

“It’s exaggerations and a bunch of lies,” he said.

– Source: HEADLINE, KSLA TV, Nov. 25, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Hearings set for 20 Alamo compound children

TEXARKANA (AP) A custody hearing for 20 children taken from parents who attend the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries likely will draw lawyers from across Arkansas into a Miller County courtroom Monday.

The initial probable cause hearings will focus on whether state child welfare officials had enough evidence to seize the children Nov. 18. Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson will hear the cases in courtroom on the second floor of the Miller County courthouse, which will be closed to the public and reporters Monday.

“We’re just trying to make sure that everybody is represented and that they have representation going into the hearing so the judges get the best information to go forward with these cases,” Connie Hickman Tanner of the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts told the Texarkana Gazette newspaper. “That’s the most important thing.”

Lawyers will be on hand Monday for parents who are eligible for court-appointed counsel. Tanner said to qualify, the parents must first request a lawyer, be found unable to pay for a lawyer themselves and had custody of a child when it was taken into state custody.

Tanner said some of the parents of the 20 children seized have already called asking for help.

– Source: Hearings set for 20 Alamo compound children, AP via the Log Cabin Democrat (Arkansas, USA), Nov. 24, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Nov. 25, 2008