Hornbuckle Jury Asks to Review Evidence

By Melody McDonald and Traci Shurley
Centre Daily
August 16, 2006

Fort Worth - Jurors deliberating the fate of an Arlington pastor accused of sexual assault have sent out two notes to the judge asking to review evidence.

Among the items they requested are all of the Rev. Terry Hornbuckle's cell phone records, as well as those of Krystal Buchanan, a former church member who testified that the pastor drugged and raped her in a Euless apartment.

Jurors also sought recordings of cell-phone messages that Hornbuckle left for Buchanan after the alleged assault.

The jury resumed its deliberations about 9 a.m. after 45 minutes of work on Tuesday. It seemed clear that, as of midmorning, they were still considering the first of three sexual-assault charges against Hornbuckle.

About noon, the panel took a break for lunch. They were expected to return at 1:30 p.m.

The jurors asked to review the list of prescription drugs found in Hornbuckle's car after his arrest and the medical records from Buchanan's trip to the hospital two days after the alleged assault.

Among the items found in Hornbuckle's car was an information sheet about a powerful sedative, Benzodiazepine. That drug was found in Buchanan's body during her exam, according to her medical records.

As the jury deliberated, members of the news media and several Hornbuckle's supporters waited outside state district Judge Scott Wisch's courtroom.

Hornbuckle, 44, founder of Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington, was in a holding cell.

Now, it's a waiting game. The verdict could take five minutes or five days; there is no way to know for sure.

Jurors began deliberating Tuesday afternoon. They are considering three charges of sexual assault, involving three women - including two that were former parishioners of Hornbuckle's church.

If convicted, Hornbuckle faces from probation to 20 years in prison on each charge.

During the trial, which began Aug. 2, the nine-woman, three-man jury heard from all three accusers.

The first was Buchanan, a 23-year-old former basketball player at University of Texas at Arlington and a former Agape church member.

She testified that on July 31, 2004, Hornbuckle took her to a Euless apartment, where he gave her some punch that made her pass out. When she woke up, a naked Hornbuckle was climbing off her, she said.

Hornbuckle's second accuser, who testified under the pseudonym Jane Doe, also attended Hornbuckle's church. She testified that Hornbuckle began counseling her in 2003 after a devastating breakup with her boyfriend and that those counseling sessions turned sexual on at least five occasions.

In Texas, it is against the law for a clergyman to use his position of power to take advantage of a parishioner.

The third woman, who testified under the name Kate Jones, said that she met Hornbuckle at a fitness club in the fall of 2004 and that he told her that he was a counselor for the Dallas Cowboys.

She told the jury that Hornbuckle went to her apartment within days and that they smoked methamphetamine together. On his second visit, she said he gave her a drink of water that made her black out and then raped her.

Hornbuckle did not take the witness stand, but his defense attorneys, Leon Haley and Mike Heiskell, aggressively cross-examined each prosecution witness.

They attacked the accusers' credibility, suggesting that all had ulterior motives. They said the women either had consensual sex that they later regretted or were trying to cash in on the pastor's wealth.

Defense attorney said that, while Hornbuckle is guilty of many sins, he is not guilty of rape.

Prosecutors Sean Colston and Betty Arvin called the defense tactics "desperate measures."

"You have to slander these women when you are sitting next to a guilty man, a bad bishop, a drug addict and a rapist," Colston told the jury during his closing argument Tuesday.


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