Tony Alamo’s conviction by a jury was based on sound evidence and his sentence by a judge on federal law, a brief filed Monday by the government states.
The 59-page document refutes arguments put forth in an April appellate brief filed by Alamo lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. of Little Rock. In it, Hall accuses the jury of convicting Alamo of all 10 counts in his federal indictment without sufficient evidence and accuses U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes of imposing his “own sense of religiosity” when he sentenced the disgraced evangelist to 175 years in federal prison. Alamo was convicted of violating federal law by transporting five women he’d wed as children across state lines for sex.
Alamo was convicted after a two-week trial in July 2009. In November, Barnes ordered Alamo, whose given name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, to serve the maximum term on each count consecutively.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner’s brief flatly denies Hall’s arguments.
Jenner argues the jury found the five Jane Does listed in Alamo’s indictment credible witnesses and outlines how each victim was made to travel with Alamo so that his sexual relationship with them could continue.
In his appeal, Alamo argued statements made by Barnes at his sentencing hearing demonstrated an improper consideration of the judge’s own beliefs.
“One day you will face a higher and greater judge than me,” Barnes said at the hearing’s close. “May he have mercy on your soul.”
Jenner’s response alleges that other statements made by Barnes outlining the reasoning he followed to fashion Alamo’s sentence are based on federal law, not personal beliefs.
The appeal is pending in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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