New lawyer signals new strategy in Alamo case
LITTLE ROCK, Arkanas — California lawyer Danny Davis has wanted to separate jailed evangelist Tony Alamo from the abuse allegations that trail his ministry.
“There is a man and there is the myth,” Davis said. “He has become a myth in the character of this monstrous felony accusation.”
That’s what Davis told The Los Angeles Times in 1991 while representing Alamo in a child-abuse case that never went to trial. Now, almost 20 years later, the Beverly Hills lawyer apparently will defend the aging evangelist against federal charges that could leave him behind bars until his death.
Alamo’s choice of Davis means the evangelist likely wants to attack the credibility of witnesses who will claim the evangelist took young girls across the state lines for sex.
Davis is best known for his work as a defense lawyer in the McMartin Pre-School molestation trial, one of the nation’s longest-running and costliest criminal trials. Defending preschool worker Raymond Buckey, Davis focused on discounting the alleged victims’ bizarre accounts of animal mutilation, blood drinking and underground tunnels running through the day-care center.
A jury acquitted Buckey of 40 charges, but deadlocked over 13 others. Prosecutors refiled eight charges against Buckey and a jury deadlocked in a second trial. Prosecutors declined to charge him a third time.
In Alamo’s case, Davis will have to contend with allegations that the preacher “married” two young girls and sexually molested them, on top of claims that he took pictures of the girls naked.
Lawyer: Evangelist too weak, old for sex crimes
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Â The new defense lawyer for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo said Thursday that his client’s poor eyesight and diminishing physique would have made it impossible for him to have had sex with underage girls, as federal prosecutors claim.
California lawyer Danny Davis told The Associated Press that “it would be physically impossible” for the 74-year-old man to have sex with girls in showers and buses – accusations lodged by authorities who arrested Alamo on Sept. 25.
Davis recently took over Alamo’s defense from Little Rock lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. Davis said Alamo worried that Hall’s busy practice might prevent him from focusing on his case.
Davis also represented Alamo in 1991, when the evangelist was accused of child abuse in California stemming from a 1988 beating of an 11-year-old boy at an Alamo compound north of Los Angeles. The case didn’t go to trial after Alamo went to federal prison over tax evasion charges.