I realize I have not yet published an article on day seven of the Chantry trial. I intend to do that tomorrow. Today I wanted to give you an idea of the trial schedule for the upcoming week and then discuss the witnesses the Defense will be calling.
Originally the trial was scheduled for only two days this upcoming week – Wednesday and Thursday. The Judge discussed the schedule with both parties after last Wednesday’s session. It was agreed they would need more time, therefore, the Judge said he would poll the jurors the following morning to see if there was anyone who would have a scheduling conflict if they were to have a court session on Friday. There were no conflicts so the trial is scheduled for Wednesday-Friday.
Wednesday will start with the Defense cross-examining Eric (Shorty) Owens. After that, I believe the State will only call two minor witnesses and then they will rest. The Defense plans to have three witnesses. They will lead off with Dr. Deborah Davis, an expert witness on memory. Her testimony will not be live but will be a video. My research indicates Dr. Davis was going to be unavailable to testify at the trial because of a prior scheduled medical procedure. Because of this Defense attorney Sears attempted, unsuccessfully to delay the trial once again. Both Ms. Eazer and Mr. Sears traveled to Reno, NV to interview Dr. Davis.
Sears stated in his opening statement that, “we think many if not all alleged victims in this case” have distorted memory.
Apparently, the video testimony of Dr. Davis will last 3 hours. She will undoubtedly inform the jurors of how memory works and then Defense attorney Sears will attempt to use this information to convince the jurors that the testimony of the victims was flawed and not reliable. Call me skeptical, but I find it difficult to believe this tactic will be effective. I sat through all the victim’s testimony and found it to be gripping and believable. A child may not remember all the details of when they were physically and sexually abused, but they are going to remember the event.
After the testimony from Dr. Davis the Defense will call Don Lindblad to the witness stand. Lindblad is the pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, an ARBCA church located in Kirkland, WA.
Lindblad is a close friend of Tom Chantry. An official court document titled “Motion in Limine Regarding Pastor Lindblad” states:
Perhaps most disturbing, when asked why he did not hesitate to give the “public” document to Mr. Sears but would be reluctant to give it to a police officer, the witness said “Well our association has gone on record as believing that the subsequent charges are not true.” When asked if he was confident that this is what the “Association” would go on record and say, the witness retracted the comment. The witness likewise readily admitted he is close friends with the Defendant and his father, and said that he wants to help the Defendant.”
Lindblad was clearly dishonest in his interview with the State’s attorney Susan Eazer. The interview was conducted in late March. I am uncertain whether this interview was a sworn deposition, but if it was it is my opinion that Lindblad has potentially opened himself up to charges of perjury. To again quote from the Motion in Limine:
Should the witness testify about anything else of substance, evidence regarding his numerous inconsistent statements made during the State’s interview, as well as his admissions that he is trying to help the Defendant and any other statements establishing bias are clearly admissible.
It’s hard for me to imagine why the Defense would call Don Lindblad as a witness in this case. His character is clearly questionable. It is also difficult to comprehend how Lindblad is a pastor, much less a leader in the ARBCA denomination. Pictured below you see Lindblad in a group photo of the Administrative Council of the ARBCA. The men in this group are supposedly the top men in the denomination, one would think their character is above reproach.
When the ARBCA sent their three-man investigative committee to Miller Valley Baptist Church in December 2000 to investigate Tom Chantry, Lindblad served as Chantry’s “advocate.” In 2006 a victim who had been repeatedly physically and sexually abused by Chantry in 1995-1996, at the age of 10 had tracked Chantry down and insisted on a phone conversation with him. Chantry only agreed to participate if Don Lindblad also could take part. Was Lindblad aware of Chantry’s abuse at this time? Remember, Chantry denied all charges of abuse in 2000, saying only that he disciplined the children. If Lindblad was not aware of the physical and sexual abuse it seems strange to me that Chantry would ask Lindblad to participate in a phone call with one of his victims, now 21 years of age. Yet we learn in March 2018 that Lindblad is close friends with Chantry and wants to help him in his trial.
The web seems a bit tangled. Let me only say that I will be paying close attention to what Lindblad has to say on the witness stand.
Following Lindblad’s testimony, Sears had made it clear that Tom Chantry will take the stand. Personally, I think this is a desperate move by the Defense but it will be interesting to watch. It is my belief that Tom Chantry will continue to do what he has done all long in this case – lie. However, there is one big difference this time – he will be under oath! It will be interesting to see if Chantry takes his oath before God to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth seriously, or if will continue to demonstrate he has no fear of God. I believe it will be the latter.