Juror 215 has posted another tidbit on Mike's blog. I am still in amazement at the things that Weinland did. Corruption is nothing new in the leadership of the Churches of God. It has been going on for so long that most are really good at covering their tracks. But not so in Weinland's case. He comes across as an incredibly stupid little man. Apparently, according to this juror, he surrounded himself will a bunch of bumbling idiots. These morons are the ones preaching to the flock every week too. How sick is that!
Trial tidbit of the day:
Johnny Harrell – Co-conspirator or Clueless?
I believe that there has been some discussion here regarding Johnny Harrell, Mr Weinland’s ‘Senior Evangelist’ and how much he really knows about the chruch’s scams. Mr Harrell took the stand for the defense, but he really didn’t do anything to help Mr Weinland’s case at all. He came across in his testimony as a bumbling fool. For example…
In an attempt to prove that the Swiss bank account was really church money and not the Weinland’s personal money, Ron and Laura flew Johnny and his wife to Switzerland with them (Mr Harrell testified that he paid for their own expenses for this trip) in order to have Johnny sign a Power of Attorney form there, giving him the rights to the account in the case of the Weinland’s death. I believe that this was in 2004 or 2005. Now, this seems like a plausible defense to establish the $400,000 in the Swiss bank as being church money and not personal, until the prosecution began their cross-examination.
Did Mr Harrell know how much money was in the account? No.
Did Mr Harrell know the account number? No.
Did Mr Harrell REALLY know what the Power of Attorney form was that he had signed? No.
The prosecution had Mr Harrell read some of the content on the PoA form aloud for the court. He stumbled over the words, not seeming to understand the relatively simple legal jargon. The prosecution asked him the meaning of what he had read, and he really didn’t know. Johnny came across as just an especially clueless minion, and it appeared to the jury during our deliberations, that based on the church elders that we had seen in the trial, that Mr Weinland was hand-selecting the “leadership” of the church based on how completely gullible and easily manipulated they were. Mr Weinland needed someone who could access that money in the event of an emergency, but he wanted to make sure that the person he chose had no clue what they were doing.
One particularly telling part of his testimony was when the prosecution was trying to ask him questions about Mrs Weinland, and to give some kind of evidence that she had done SOMETHING in the church, other than being Mr Weinland’s wife, that justified Ron declaring her the Second Witness. Mr Harrell’s response back to the attorney was to turn red in the face, get a wild look in his eye, and start screaming, “READ YOUR BIBLE!” It has apparently never occurred to him that other people in the world might read the bible and come up with an entirely different interpretation of it than what has been forced upon them by Ron all of these years.
It was just sad and pathetic.