RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Rutherford County Clerk of Superior Court’s office confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 that they had received a commission for the Fenner trials to be held in Buncombe County next month. Judge Marvin Pope, Jr. has been assigned to preside on the week of Oct. 23, 2017 and the following week if necessary so that the court might complete its business.
Judge Pope, who had ordered a change of venue for 4/5 trials, had also ordered that the finding of facts, detailed histories, indictments, motions be included in that order and forwarded to the district attorney in Buncombe County. Pope had stated in court “that in finding in each case is a former or current Word of Faith Fellowship member that it would be highly unlikely to receive a speedy trial in Rutherford County.”
The five defendants who are or were members of the Word of Faith Fellowship and charged in the alleged assault and kidnapping of Matthew Fenner who says he was held against his will during a deliverance session of blasting or loud prayer in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WoFF) on January 2013 to deliver him from homosexuality are:
- Brooke Covington
- Justin Covington
- Adam Bartley
- Robert Louis Walker
- Sarah Anderson
Brooke Covington’s trial held in the May-June RC trial session ended in a mistrial when the jury foreman brought outside documents into the jury deliberation room. Judge Gary Gavenus ordered a mistrial. Since that time, her defense attorney David Teddy has been out on medical leave and as yet unable to reschedule another trial.
One or more cases may be called next month.