Hornbuckle Sentencing Phase Features More Scandal

August 23, 2006

Fort Worth, Texas -- As the sentencing phase in the rape trial of former minister Terry Hornbuckle continued Wednesday, more scandalous allegations surfaced in the courtroom.

A jury on Wednesday found former Arlington minister Terry Hornbuckle guilty of raping three women. Now they must decide on a sentence.

To prove Hornbuckle deserves a long prison sentence, prosecutors called more witnesses to present damaging testimony.

Hornbuckle's former parole officer testified that Hornbuckle, once known as a bishop at his Agape Christian Fellowship, repeatedly violated parole by failing drug tests and avoiding his electronic monitor.

"He's just continuing to do whatever it is the bishop wants to do," prosecutor Betty Arvin said.

A former inmate testified that he sold drugs to Hornbuckle inside the Tarrant County Jail.

Hornbuckle's defense said the former pastor does have a drug problem that began with back pain pills and progressed into methamphetamines.

However, they said he simply needs treatment, not a prison sentence.

"It seems like they're more desperate in trying to send Terry to the penitentiary," defense attorney Leon Haley said.

A former church employee testified that Hornbuckle sexually harassed her, and that she also witnessed him hitting his wife.

Another women testified that Hornbuckle coerced her to have sex while they were at a church conference.

"He needs to be put away. He needs to not have access to people in the community," Arvin said.

The defense called only Hornbuckle's mother as a witness.

Hornbuckle faces up to 20 years in prison.


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