Day Six of the Thomas Chantry Trial

By | May 3, 2019

Chantry Trial – Day 6
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Testifying today:
TW – father of daughter and son whom Chantry was convicted of assaulting
PW – mother of daughter and son whom Chantry was convicted of assaulting

There was no court session on Wednesday, so no, I didn’t miss a day! Today was only a half-day session because a witness or two couldn’t make it in until Friday. Present in the gallery of the courtroom today was a juror from the first trial and his wife. I would have liked to talk with him and thanked him for his service but he left after the first witness finished testifying. Also present were two women who were there to support PW and TW.

Noteworthy by his absence was Al Huber, the father-in-law of Tom Chantry. You may recall that Al put up the $250,000 cash to spring Tom from jail in late March.  Al is a pastor at an ARBCA church – Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL Al has not been present for any of the trial and it’s unlikely he will make an appearance because next week is the yearly ARBCA General Assembly. As a member of the Administrative Council (the inner sanctum of ARBCA) Al will be expected to attend.

Testifying first today was TW. He, his son and his daughter testified at the first Chantry trial and the two felony assault convictions Chantry received were for his actions taken against TW’s children. All three of them have now also testified at this trial.

Much of the TW’s testimony centered around the letter he wrote to MVBC Elders Rich Howe and Eric Owens on December 7, 2000. The fact is not lost on me that just as December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy for our nation, so the letter TW wrote 59 years later outlines events that will live in infamy in the lives of his family.

 

Letter From Father of Victi… by on Scribd

Of note in the testimony given by TW was that the three-man investigative committee told them they could go to the police, but they were given the impression that this was not needed as they would handle it. The  three-man investigative council told them Tom Chantry would never be a pastor again or be around children.

Of course these were empty promises, as we now know that within six months of Tom Chantry moving to Tom Lyon’s church he was preaching there, and within a few years he had moved on to teach elementary school children at Christian Liberty Academy in the Chicago area. Below is an informative letter from a former member of Tom Lyon’s church.

Paul Schmidt Questions PRBC… by on Scribd

The three-man committee also told TW and PW that they needed to apologize to their children for placing them in the care of Tom Chantry and encouraged them to forgive Chantry.

Prosecutor Eazer completed her questioning of TW by asking him if he regrets not calling the Police. “Absolutely,” he responded.

PW began her testimony around 10:40. She stated that bother her children are kind and tender-hearted and were never a discipline problem.

She mentioned that when Tom talked about disciplining her children while tutoring them she got a “sick feeling.” After Tom had left their home she voiced her concerns to her husband and he promised he would talk to Tom the next day and tell him there was to be no spanking. (He did not do this.)

PW said her children were nervous and scared after their first  time with Chantry and they did not want to go back to Tom’s house, nor did she want them to return.

She said the letter they received from the three-man investigative council told them it was their fault for placing them in the care of Tom Chantry.

She also mentioned that they were told Tom would not be pastoring again or be around children and that the church would handle the matter.

When PW was asked if this had been hard on her family she said “yes.” When asked “Why?” she broke down crying.

Judge Astrowsky quickly called for a recess and the jury was sent out.  About ten minutes later the jury was brought back in but PW still had not fully regained her composure. Prosecutor Eazer asked her two more questions: Were your children angry with you? To which she replied “yes” and “In hindsight do you wish you had done things differently?” PW replied, “Very much so.”

Defense attorney Stevens said he had no questions, nor did the jury, so that ended the witness testimony for the day.

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