Matt Pitt’s motion for release denied, new attorneys are on the case
By Scott Buttram
According to media reports, new attorneys who are representing jailed evangelist Matt Pitt filed a motion for his early release on Thursday only to have that motion denied by Judge Dan Reeves on Friday.
Greg Garrison of The Birmingham News reports that Carmella Penn filed the motion, but Reeves rejected the claim because there was no signature on the motion. Penn said a digital signature was later added to the motion, but she told Garrison that she wasn’t sure if the judge ever saw the amended motion.
Penn told Garrison that the attorney who represented television evangelist Creflo Dollar, Nikki Bonner, has also joined the legal team and that is was Bonner who brought her into the case. It is not known if Pitt’s original attorney Daniel Boman will remain on the case, but Penn suggested that Boman’s representation was lacking.
“I was disheartened by some of the things that went uncontested” at that hearing, Penn told Garrison. “There were no witnesses on his behalf. I just feel like he didn’t get the representation he should have gotten. Everything has been one-sided.”
Pitt is in the Shelby county jail serving the remaining 10 months of his original sentence for impersonating a peace officer after his probation was revoked in October. The revocation hearing came after Pitt was arrested in Jefferson county for allegedly impersonating an officer while serving probation for the Shelby county offense which Pitt had pled guilty to and apologized for in open court.
According to the article, Penn said it was unusual for a defendant to have their probation revoked prior to being found guilty of the subsequent charges in Jefferson county. But, during the revocation hearing, Shelby county district attorney Robert Owens said a finding of guilt in Jefferson county was not necessary to determine that Pitt had violated the terms of his probation. Owens cited testimony that Pitt had run from Birmingham police officers, resisted arrest, and told booking officers that he worked for Jefferson county sheriff Mike Hale as additional violations that led to the revocation of his probation.
Controversy has continued to follow the formerly popular evangelist even during his incarceration.
Earlier this month, Garrison reported that Pitt was using the promise of “beautiful women” at Basement youth services to lure inmates to attend the functions.
According to Garrison’s report, Pitt can be heard on the video saying, ”I told them, ‘my doors just opened for everybody in the jails…. plus…. there’s a lot of beautiful women.’ So, I am using the women to lure them in there. And these guys are like… Really? And I’m like, ‘oh yeah man, we’ve got beautiful women there’… So I’m telling you I am using everything I can to get everybody in this building saved.”
The comments came during a telephone call to a Basement meeting from Pitt while serving his sentence in jail. Pitt’s promise of beautiful women come at the 8:50 mark of the video above.
That report triggered a social media attack directed at Garrison by at least one Basement ministry leader, while other ministry leaders defended the jailed preacher’s comments.
— Blake Bolden (@blakebolden) November 5, 2013