Black Collar Crime Round-Up: April 18, 2012

Jared Lee Burkholder • Ezekiel Foster • Colin Hatch • Timothy Jackson
Michael Kelly • Nancy Snyder • Brenda Viars

Jared Lee BurkholderSentenced: Jared Lee Burkholder, 33, former young families minister and music/choir director, and son-in-law of pastor William Rench, Calvary Baptist Church, Temecula, California, “to three years’ probation and 180 days jail time to be served in the work release program” and “$20,000 in restitution to the church,” reports the Press-Enterprise, after apparently changing his previous not-guilty plea to guilty to charges of burglary, grand theft and embezzlement of some $20,000 from the church’s safe over the course of a year. Story: Conservative Babylon, February 15, 2012; Conservative Babylon, April 9, 2012; Press-Enterprise, April 17, 2012

Ezekiel FosterGuilty: Ezekiel “Glen” Foster, 43, Jamaican-born former deacon, Harlesden Pentecostal Church, London, England, of killing 24-year-old dancer and mother of three Sashana Roberts, with whom he shared a turbulent five-year relationship, in September, 2011. Reports the Brent & Kilburn Times: “The Old Bailey heard Ezekiel Foster stabbed 24-year-old Sashana Roberts at least 11 times with a kitchen knife before leaving her for dead in her flat on Ivy Road, on September 12 last year. Jurors were told the young mother’s body was found dumped in a bath with her two terrified daughters, aged just three and 11 months, cowering nearby. … Foster denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.” Story: Daily Mail, September 13, 2011; RJR, September 22, 2011; Brent & Kilburn Times, April 17, 2012

United StatesSentenced: Colin L. Hatch, 27, former church deacon and police officer applicant, Baltimore, Maryland, “to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a prostitute at gunpoint in 2007,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC. “Hatch was found guilty by a jury in July 2008 … of first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, carrying a pistol without a license, and possession of an unregistered firearm. Part of that verdict was set aside on appeal… In March 2012, Hatch pled guilty to one count of attempted first-degree sexual abuse and one count of possessing a firearm during the commission of the crime of violence. … According to the government’s evidence at trial, as well as in its factual proffer at Hatch’s plea hearing, on November 17, 2007, at about 3:30 a.m., Hatch picked up a 23-year-old prostitute in downtown Washington… Before engaging in the sexual act, the victim asked for payment. Instead, Hatch produced a .45 caliber handgun, pointed it to her head, and told her that the sex would be free. Scared for her life, the victim submitted to sexual acts in the hope that Hatch would let her go after he was finished. After the attack, Hatch allowed the victim to leave the car. He then drove back to the area where he had picked up the victim. Approximately 15 minutes after the assault, the victim and a friend spotted the defendant driving in the area. The victim called the police. Hatch was eventually stopped in the 400 block of Eastern Avenue NE, just a few blocks from his home. The .45 caliber handgun, which he had lawfully purchased in Maryland, was found in his car. The evidence at trial also demonstrated that, although Hatch wore a condom during the sexual assault, DNA recovered from the victim matched his DNA profile.” Story: U.S. Dept. of Justice, July 22, 2008; Colin Hatch v. United States, December 8, 2011; U.S. Attorney’s Office, April 16, 2012

Timothy JacksonSentenced: Timothy Jackson, 46, former pastor, Abundant Life Church, Detroit, Michigan, to 40 years in prison after his conviction on six counts of criminal sexual conduct committed against a member of his church, a 13-year-old girl who was 11 when Jackson reportedly began raping her. Jackson, who maintains his innocence, is married and the father of two children, ages six and 13. Story: Examiner.com, August 20, 2010; Detroit News, April 17, 2012; Click On Detroit, April 17, 2012

Michael KellyFlees U.S.: Michael Kelly, 62, Roman Catholic priest, formerly of Annunciation Cathedral, Stockton, California, and pastor, St. Joachim Catholic Church, Lockeford, found liable in early April in a civil suit (which is only halfway finished; “The trial’s second phase, taking place now, is to determine whether the Stockton Diocese is also liable and to award damages to the plaintiff,” explains the Lodi News-Sentinel) on three counts of child molestation allegedly committed during the 1980s, to his home country of Ireland, the day before he was due to testify in court. Kelly reportedly sent a letter to the Stockton Diocese, claiming “vicious false allegations” were “destroying” his health, and told his lawyer he was returning to Ireland to “die with his family.” News 10 quotes the victim’s attorney: “The jury in this case returned a verdict against Father Kelly on all claims, essentially finding that Father Kelly viciously sexually abused my client. … He’s just running away.” News 10 also notes: “In a separate case, Kelly has been under a criminal investigation since last September on allegations he molested an altar boy at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in San Andreas in the early 2000s.” It is not known if Kelly will be made to return to the United States. Story: Conservative Babylon, April 9, 2012; News 10, April 16, 2012; Modesto Bee, April 16, 2012; Lodi News-Sentinel, April 17, 2012; The Republic, April 17, 2012

Nancy SnyderIndicted: Nancy J. Snyder, 64, former bookkeeper, Saint Ann Catholic Community Church, Colonial Heights, Virginia, on charges of embezzling more than $30,000 from the parish over a period of ten years, as well as forgery and uttering. Free on bond, Snyder is scheduled to go on trial June 14, 2012. Story: Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 17, 2012

Brenda ViarsAlford plea: Brenda Viars, 59, co-pastor with “Brother” Mickey Viars, All for Jesus Church of God (), Bristol, Tennessee, and televangelist, “King’s Servants TV Program,” (Living Faith Television), to two counts each of physical abuse or gross negligence of an impaired adult and willful abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that local law enforcement “said a tipster initially told them in February 2011 that an elderly woman was living in wretched conditions at a Bluff City church on Beaver Creek Drive. Instead, the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office found both Viar’s [sic] 59-year-old husband” (who is diabetic) “and her mother” (then 92 years old) “living in an apartment at the back of the church. It was overrun with mice, roaches and gnats” (as well as “dead rats” and odors described as “urine, feces, rotting food, rotting meat,” according to WCYB). “Officers said they had to put on masks and boots just to walk inside. Both the husband and the mother were removed from the home and immediately hospitalized. … The pastor, in a 2011 interview with the Bristol Herald Courier, said conditions in the apartment simply got out of hand. ‘I’ve been trying to do my best,’ she said. ‘I am sorry that things got the way they are. I don’t want to bring a reproach on our lord and savior.’” WCYB also quotes Viars, referring to her husband and her mother: “I never hurt them.” Viars is is scheduled for sentencing July 5, 2012. Story: WCYB, April 16, 2012; Bristol Herald Courier, April 16, 2012

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