Jury's Latest Question: Were the Lights on or Off?

By Traci Shurley
The Star-Telegram
August 18, 2006

FORT WORTH — Jurors in an Arlington pastor's sexual assault trial sought details Friday afternoon about the moments after an alleged assault of a former parishioner at a Euless apartment.

The panel asked the judge whether accuser Krystal Buchanan had testified that the lights were on or off before the Rev. Terry Hornbuckle climbed off her and began masturbating.

It was the jury's first note of the afternoon, and sixth of the day.

Terry Hornbuckle

On Friday morning, jurors sent out a flurry of notes in the span of about an hour. All were related to Buchanan or accuser Jane Doe.

No verdict had been reached by 5 p.m. Friday. Jurors will return Monday morning.

The jury has deliberated for close to three days, and has sent out no questions related to the third accuser, Kate Jones, who said Hornbuckle drugged and raped her.

"Kate Jones" and "Jane Doe" are pseudonyms used by the women in court. Buchanan chose to use her real name.

The first note Friday dealt with a conversation that Buchanan's mother said she had with football star Deion Sanders.

Loretta Sheppard said Sanders called and asked her to "hold off" on acting after she learned of her daughter's allegations.

The jury wanted to know if Sanders told Sheppard that he was getting help for Hornbuckle or that he and Bishop T.D. Jakes were getting help for Hornbuckle, according to state district Judge Scott Wisch.

Jurors are considering three charges of sexual assault against Hornbuckle, the 44-year-old founder of Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington. Each charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Buchanan, 23, a former member of Agape, accused Hornbuckle of drugging and raping her inside a Euless apartment. A second woman, Jane Doe, 25, also a former parishioner, said that she went to Hornbuckle for spiritual advice and that their counseling sessions turned sexual four or five times.

In Texas, it's against the law for a clergyman to exploit a parishioner's emotional dependency for sex.

The third accuser, Kate Jones, 34, who met Hornbuckle at a fitness club, said he raped her after they smoked methamphetamine together.

Two of the jury's other notes Friday morning sought testimony from Jane Doe and Buchanan, the judge said.

The other asked the juge for the definitions of "burden of proof" and "rape." The judge denied that request, telling the jury that their instructions gave them all the guidance they needed on that question.

Jurors sent out a fifth note just before lunch, asking if Jane Doe had discussed having a child with Hornbuckle. She did testify that Hornbuckle had talked to her about having children.


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