- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Witnesses disagree at Alamo trial

TEXARKANA — A woman whose sister was reportedly an underage bride of evangelist Tony Alamo misidentified the preacher at his sex crimes trial Monday and gave jurors a different account of how her sister came to “marry” him.

When a prosecutor offered the witness a second chance to identify Mr. Alamo as the leader of an Arkansas religious compound, the woman stood up and correctly pointed out the 74-year-old.

Mr. Alamo is charged in a 10-count indictment, accusing him taking five young girls across state lines for sex. He has pleaded not guilty and his attorneys say he is being targeted for his religious beliefs.

Monday’s witness, 20, spoke slowly during her time on the stand and often appeared confused. Prosecutors had summoned her to verify details that her 17-year-old sister gave in testimony Friday, including that Mr. Alamo said God had told him to choose a wife from between the siblings.

The 20-year-old woman, a former Alamo follower, told jurors that several people were present when the preacher picked her then-11-year-old sister as a “wife,” but the previous witness had told jurors only three people were there.


Judge orders seals kept out of pool

SAN DIEGO — A judge Monday gave the city 72 hours to begin chasing harbor seals out of the Children’s Pool at La Jolla beach or face heavy daily fines, ruling firmly for humans in a decade-long battle over who should win exclusive use of the cove.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann ordered the city to comply with a 2005 order by another judge to restore the Children’s Pool cove to its original condition.

The city plans to hire someone to walk the beach with a public address system broadcasting the sound of barking dogs to scare off the seals, said Andrew Jones, the assistant city attorney for civil litigation.

“There’s certainly a lot of emotions revolving around this issue. We expect that this person could be harassed, even physically attacked,” he said.

Force cannot be used because the seals are a federally protected marine species. “We can’t harm the seals in any way. Any method we use basically has to be benign,” Mr. Jones said.

Two police officers will be on hand to prevent interference by pro-seal activists, he said.

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