Day Nine of the Thomas Chantry Trial – Chantry Found Guilty on All Four Counts!

By | May 12, 2019

“There’s no guarantee that justice will win out or that a noble sacrifice will make any difference. But when it does, there’s something that still swells my chest. There’s magic in that…. It tells me that’s the way things are supposed to be. ”
Brent Weeks, Beyond the Shadows

I returned to the Verde Superior Courthouse this morning assuming a verdict would be returned at some point during the day. The jury had deliberated for about 2 hours on Tuesday, recessed for the day, and resumed deliberations at 9:00 A.M. I spent a few tense hours in the corridor outside the courtroom awaiting the verdict. At 11:05 we were informed the jury had a question, so everyone (excepting the jurors) returned to the courtroom. The question was actually a request. The jury desired to see the letters exchanged between Walter Chantry and Miller Valley Baptist Church elders Rich Howe and Eric Owens. Judge Astrowsky formulated his response to the jury with input from State’s counsel, Susan Eazer and Defense counsel, Ryan Stevens.

The letters had not been submitted as evidence so the answer the jury received was something to the effect of, “You are to consider the evidence admitted in court and any testimony you heard.” Additionally, they were referred to the final instructions they had received from Judge Astrowsky.

After this I left the Courthouse and headed out for a quick lunch. While out, an ominous thunderstorm rolled through Camp Verde. The sky grew very dark, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, lightning bolts flashed and heavy rain and hail fell from the sky. The thought entered my mind that this was a precursor of God’s earthly judgment of Tom Chantry. I returned to the courthouse around 12:30, strangely confident that a guilty verdict would be returned. I didn’t have to wait long to have my feeling confirmed. At 1:15 word was passed that the jury had reached a verdict. I entered the courtroom and took my usual seat; on the prosecution side, one row from the back in the middle of the row. Two uniformed Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they were big burly men who had the appearance of former NFL linebackers. They seated themselves in the row located nearest the door out of the courtroom. A smartly dressed man also entered, he appeared to also be with Law Enforcement.  Then a man and three young ladies entered and sat behind me. They appeared to be court employees, there to observe the dramatic scene of the verdict declared in this infamous case. Well known blogger, Brent Detwiler sat a few rows ahead of me.

At 1:25 Tom Chantry, his wife Karen and his sister, Judy Rogers entered the courtroom.

At 1:30 Judge Astrowsky entered the courtroom.

At 1:45 the Jury entered the courtroom. (The jury consisted of 9 women and 3 men.) The mood was somber and the courtroom was silent. They handed the envelope containing the jury verdict forms to the Bailiff and he handed the envelope to Judge Astrowsky. The Judge looked them over and then handed them to the Court Clerk. She then read the first count (it seemed to take forever) and inquired of the jury foreperson how they voted.

“Guilty,” said the foreperson.

And with that one word the legacy of Walter Chantry came crashing down. Thomas J. Chantry, Walter’s only son, the son whose image he had worked so hard to protect for at least 20 years, has finally been proven to be the “sick, twisted monster” that his victim knew him to be when he penned the words 19 years earlier.

Source: Scribd

“Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.”
Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

The reading of the verdicts for the remaining three counts was anti-climatic, it was a forgone conclusion that if the jury voted guilty on the first count, they would vote guilty on the other three. Such was the case.

From my vantage point I could not see Chantry’s face, I could only see the back of his bald head, and it was red. Brent Detwiler made it a point to watch Karen Chantry and Judy Rogers when the verdict was announced. He said they showed no emotion whatsoever.

The jury was then polled individually, at the request of the Defense, on all 4 counts. This was a time consuming thing, the purpose of which seemed somewhat inane to me.

The jury was then ushered out to take an additional vote on “aggravating circumstances.” This is an item the State brought forward, claiming Chantry caused “emotional harm” to the victim. The jury had to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that this was true, which they did. Because of this the the judge can increase the sentence on each of the 4 counts from the presumptive 17 years to a maximum of 24 years, but more on the sentencing below.

Photo courtesy of Vyto Starinskas/VVN

ARBCA pastor Al Huber, the father-in-law of Tom Chantry is likely the man who bankrolled Chantry’s defense. I find it gratifying to contemplate that Huber has likely flushed over one million dollars down a rat hole in a vain attempt to clear Chantry of charges of molesting a child. I find it difficult to believe that any clear thinking individual, acquainted with the details of this case, could seriously believe Chantry was innocent. Now that Chantry has been proven to be guilty of the charges by a jury of his peers anyone still clinging to Chantry’s claim of innocence is, in my opinion, complicit in the case.

Not surprisingly, anonymous ARBCA leaders were doing just that, as reported on May 9 at the Pulpit & Pen website.

I believe what the Pulpit & Pen reported is actually what the inner corps of corrupt, evil ARBCA leaders believe in their hearts.

Let me remind you again of the manipulative tactics employed by ARBCA leaders to keep their people ignorant of the facts of the Thomas Chantry case. Below is a communication distributed to the ARBCA faithful throughout the country during the first trial of Thomas Chantry.  Steve Martin, the national Coordinator for ARBCA, wrote this. If, after reading this you mistake ARBCA Steve Martin for the comedian Steve Martin, it’s understandable.

 

Next is a revealing comment from a former member of Providence Reformed Baptist Church, pastored by the ignoble Tom Lyon.

Below is a photo of Tom Lyon. Those who have followed the Chantry story closely know that after Chantry fled Miller Valley Baptist Church he went up to Tacoma, WA and began attending Lyon’s church. Lyon possessed  the classified report on Chantry and was aware of all the requirements Chantry had agreed to comply with. Only after meeting these requirements would Chantry be considered for preaching again. Within six months of Chantry arriving at Providence Reformed Baptist Church, Lyon allowed Chantry to preach!  In 2002 Chantry left Lyon’s church to teach elementary school-children at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL. Apparently Lyon had no problem with this. Of course we are now aware that Chantry paddled a 5 year old boy at the school so hard that he still had marks on his bottom the next day. The police were called in and questioned Chantry. Chantry stated he had only paddled about 12 other children in his time at CLA! The young child’s parents did not want to press charges, but they did remove their child from the school.

Next we have a comment from Dale Smith which he sent back to his church members while he was attending the first Chantry trial. Smith is the senior pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL.  Al Huber, the father-in-law of Tom Chantry, is the assistant pastor.

At the same time the Pulpit & Pen was published, ARBCA was working on a statement of their own. In it they acknowledged what Chantry did was a heinous sin and they felt terrible for the victims, yada, yada yada.

To date none of the ARBCA leaders have contacted one of the victims of Chantry’s abuse at Miller Valley Baptist Church. Nor did the ARBCA statement mention their role in the 20 year coverup which they participated in. These guys are unloving, untruthful modern day Pharisees. In my opinion there is no excuse for any God-fearing individual to remain in a church that is affiliated with ARBCA.

ARBCA did a good job of throwing Chantry under the bus (for which I could care less), simply proving that there is no honor among thieves. (Or pedophiles?) One thing for certain, Chantry knows where all the ARBCA bodies are buried. I wonder how long it will be before he starts singing?

 

2019 Statement of ARBCA Ge… by on Scribd

Anthony Battaglia, author of the ARBCA.ORG blog  has started a petition to support the Chantry victims. (Anthony is a former member of an ARBCA church and is speaking out against corruption in ARBCA)

Please visit it and sign the petition here.

Below is the applicable laws which will apply for the sentencing of Thomas Chantry. You can read a brief explanation below the laws.


1995 A.R.S. § 13-604.01

1995 Arizona Code Archive

·        ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES

·        TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE

·        CHAPTER 6. CLASSIFICATIONS OF OFFENSES AND AUTHORIZED DISPOSITIONS OF OFFENDERS

 

§ 13-604.01. Dangerous crimes against children; sentences; definitions

A.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who is at least eighteen years of age or who has been tried as an adult and who stands convicted of a dangerous crime against children in the first degree involving second degree murder, sexual assault, taking a child for the purpose of prostitution, child prostitution, sexual conduct with a minor or continuous sexual abuse of a child or involving or using minors in drug offenses shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for twenty years. If the convicted person has been previously convicted of one predicate felony the person shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for thirty years.

B.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who is at least eighteen years of age or who has been tried as an adult and who stands convicted of a dangerous crime against children in the first degree involving aggravated assault, molestation of a child, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, child abuse or kidnapping shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for seventeen years. If the convicted person has been previously convicted of one predicate felony the person shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for twenty-eight years.

C.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who is at least eighteen years of age or who has been tried as an adult and who stands convicted of a dangerous crime against children involving sexual abuse under section 13-1404 is guilty of a class 3 felony and shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for five years, and unless the person has previously been convicted of a predicate felony, the presumptive term may be increased or decreased by up to two and one-half years pursuant to section 13-702, subsections C, D and E. If the person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment the person is not eligible for release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court is served, the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1604.07 or the sentence is commuted. If the convicted person has been previously convicted of one predicate felony the person shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for fifteen years and is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court has been served, the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1404.07 or the sentence is commuted.

D. The presumptive sentences prescribed in subsections A and B of this section or subsection C of this section if the person has previously been convicted of a predicate felony may be increased or decreased by up to seven years pursuant to the provisions of section 13-702, subsections B, C and D. 

E.  Except as provided in subsection C of this section, a person sentenced for a dangerous crime against children in the first degree pursuant to this section is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon, or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court has been served or commuted.

F.  A person who stands convicted of any dangerous crime against children in the first degree pursuant to subsection A or B of this section having been previously convicted of two or more predicate felonies shall be sentenced to life imprisonment and is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the person has served not fewer than thirty-five years or the sentence is commuted.

G.  Notwithstanding chapter 10 of this title, a person who is at least eighteen years of age or who has been tried as an adult and who stands convicted of a dangerous crime against children in the second degree pursuant to subsection A or B of this section is guilty of a class 3 felony and shall be sentenced to a presumptive term of imprisonment for ten years. The presumptive term may be increased or decreased by up to five years pursuant to section 13-702, subsections B, C and D. If the person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment the person is not eligible for release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the person has served the sentence imposed by the court, the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1604.07 or the sentence is commuted. A person who is convicted of any dangerous crime against children in the second degree having been previously convicted of one or more predicate felonies is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court has been served, the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1604.07 or the sentence is commuted.

H.  Section 13-604, subsections M and O apply to the determination of prior convictions.

I.  The sentence imposed on a person by the court for a dangerous crime against children in the first or second degree shall be consecutive to any other sentence imposed on the person at any time except that the sentence imposed on a person by the court for a dangerous crime against children under subsection B of this section involving child molestation or sexual abuse pursuant to subsection C of this section shall be consecutive to any other sentence imposed on the person at any time if the offense involved more than one victim.

J.  In this section:

1.  “Dangerous crime against children” means any of the following committed against a minor under fifteen years of age:

(a)  Second degree murder.

(b)  Aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injury or involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

(c)  Sexual assault.

(d)  Molestation of a child.

(e)  Sexual conduct with a minor.

(f)  Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.

(g)  Sexual exploitation of a minor.

(h)  Child abuse as defined in section 13-3623, subsection B, paragraph 1.

(i)  Kidnapping.

(j)  Sexual abuse.

(k)  Taking a child for the purpose of prostitution as defined in section 13-3206.

(l)  Child prostitution as defined in section 13-3212.

(m)  Involving or using minors in drug offenses.

(n)  Continuous sexual abuse of a child.

A dangerous crime against children is in the first degree if it is a completed offense and is in the second degree if it is a preparatory offense.

2.  “Predicate felony” means any felony involving child abuse pursuant to section 13-3623, subsection B, paragraph 1, a sexual offense, conduct involving the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury or the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or a dangerous crime against children in the first or second degree.


Sentencing for Chantry is scheduled for July 19th. There is a “Sentencing Status Conference” scheduled for June 14th.

Chantry is facing 10-24 years on each count and whatever sentence he receives must be flat time, meaning he is not eligible for early release. (See paragraph “E” above.)


Thanks to all who have followed the Chantry trial on this blog. Thanks also for your prayers.

 

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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