Judge says 'no' to Jinwright's plea for bail

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File this under shocking. (I kid. I kid.) After a month in the courtroom with the players in this drama, I can't imagine Judge Frank Whitney caving on the order he gave after the guilty verdict: Go directly to jail and stay there.

Bishop Anthony Jinwright, convicted in May on 13 counts related to federal tax evasion, will not be released on bond pending sentencing, U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney ruled Friday.

In an 11-page ruling, Whitney, who presided over Jinwright’s four-week trial, rejected the preacher’s request on all points.

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In rejecting Jinwright's bond request, Whitney upheld his earlier ruling that the 56-year-old preacher poses "a danger to the economic safety of the community." Jinwright's proposed conditions for release, he said, were insufficient to overcome that burden.

“In convicting Defendant, the jury appeared to find Defendant not credible and rejected the majority of his testimony,” the judge wrote. “Additionally, Defendant absconded money from the IRS for years, which translates to experience in concealing financial resources that a periodic audit from the Probation Office might not uncover. Since Defendant is now in the position of having been found guilty of certain crimes, the Court is unpersuaded that Defendant’s offer to remove himself from financial dealings at (Greater Salem) provides clear and convincing evidence that he would no longer pose a danger to the economic safety of the community.”

The judge also rejected Jinwright’s contention that keeping him in jail prevented him from settling his financial affairs, including the sale of his funeral home business.

“While in Mecklenburg County Jail, Defendant has the ability to make periodic phone calls, receive periodic visitors, and send and receive mail,” Whitney wrote. “Defendant’s detention does not isolate him from communication with the outside world.”

The judge labeled as “disingenuous” Jinwright’s contention that allowing him out on bond would save taxpayers the cost of detention and allow him to more quickly pay off his tax debts. Jinwright’s petition for bond had stated that “The government obviously needs all the tax revenue it can get, since it is running at a substantial deficit.”

“While the amount owed by Defendant to the IRS is substantial," rhe judge wrote, "it will hardly make a dent in the national debt. This argument is meritless.”

Read the entire article at Qcitymetro.com.

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