Skip to main content

5 Davidians get 40 years in slayings of 4 agents

June 18, 1994|By New York Times News Service
SAN ANTONIO -- Ignoring pleas for leniency from the defendants and the foreman of the jury that convicted them, a federal judge sentenced five Branch Davidians yesterday to 40 years in prison for their roles in a shootout near Waco in February 1993 in which four federal agents and six cult members died.
The shootout began a 51-day standoff that ended when the sect's leader, David Koresh, and 78 of his followers died in a fire after FBI agents assaulted the sect's compound with tear gas and tanks armed with battering rams.
Judge Walter Smith of U.S. District Court handed down sentences ranging from five years to 20 years for three other defendants, and the eight were collectively ordered to pay fines and restitution to the government of more than $1 million.

"The evidence from this trial has not faded from my memory. Certain images are clear," Judge Smith was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. "I remember evidence the jury didn't see, evidence I ruled was too gruesome."
Most of the defendants sat stone-faced during the sentencing proceedings, but there were several sobs from family members in the courtroom. As the defendants were being led away, a female visitor shouted, "Give us liberty or give us death!" but was quickly silenced by federal marshals.
The long sentences provoked angry reactions from defense lawyers.
"The prosecution was successful in getting the judge to completely ignore the jury's wishes," said Mike DeGeurin, the lawyer for Paul Fatta, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $50,000.
Another defense lawyer, Joe Turner, said of the defendants, "The judge slam-dunked them."
But the chief federal prosecutor, Ray Jahn, said that he was "relieved" by the sentences, adding: "It's clear that the judge did a careful job in crafting his decision. We prosecuted these
people for their actions, not their religious beliefs, and they were fairly and justly sentenced according to their actions."
The gunbattle began Feb. 28, 1993, when nearly 100 agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms stormed the sect's rural compound near Waco to serve search-and-arrest warrants on the cult's leader.  The raid was widely criticized and was the subject of a searing report by the Treasury Department, which oversees the firearms agency. The report, which led to the resignation of Stephen Higgins, the head of the agency, accused bureau officials of mismanaging the raid and subsequent investigations.
(Page 2 of 2)
The five defendants sentenced to 40 years in prison were Renos Avraam, 29; Brad Branch, 34; Jaime Castillo, 25; Livingstone Fagan, 34; and Kevin Whitecliff, 32, all of whom participated in the gun battle, according to trial testimony. Each was sentenced to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter and 30 years for weapons violations.  The sentences are to run consecutively. The five were also fined amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 and were ordered to pay restitution of $1,131,687.49.
Fatta, 35, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to manufacture or possess machine guns and 10 years for aiding and abetting Koresh in possessing machine guns. The terms run consecutively.
Fatta was also ordered to pay $50,000 in fines.
Fatta was absent from the compound on the day of the raid, but prosecutors accused him of being the sect's "blood merchant" because he had purchased many of its weapons.
Judge Smith handed down less than the maximum sentences in only two of the cases. Graeme Craddock, who had faced up to 40 years, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of a hand grenade and 10 years on the reinstated weapons charges.
Ruth Riddle, the only female defendant, was sentenced to five years for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.
Judge Smith said he reduced their sentences because they were the only defendants to show any remorse for their actions. He also said that Ms. Riddle "was as malleable as a soft piece of clay" in the hands of Koresh.
At least two defense lawyers indicated that they planned to appeal the sentences. Prosecutors, meanwhile, said any possible appeals of the lighter sentences would be left to the Justice Department.
In addition, a number of civil suits arising from the raid and the fire are pending.


Anonymous said…
I came across this article last night while I was doing research on something else I had posted.(the 7 jigs and jumped and robbed the 72 year old)

Finding this WACO/BD story I asked several comrades and family if they had ever seen or even heard of this and the answers from all came back NO and post the hell out of it.

Popular posts from this blog

1914 Germany Afrikaner farmer Agreement

thank you Etienne 
translated from Afrikaner to EnglishTo all the people of the white race all over the world, most of all to the German nation: This is an important agreement Concerning the South African Boer people and the German nation. It has to do with an agreement between the Boer rebellion and the German troops in Southwest Africa. The Boer rebellion were lead by leaders of the Afrikaaner nation (General Manie Maritz, General SG Maritz, General Koss Delarey) and who’ll be fought against the English in the Second Anglo-Boer war from 1899 to 1902, where the Afrikaaner nation under hun president In Paul Kruger ulcers completely humiliated by the English when ze ulcers forced to sign the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. The atrocities committed against the Boers in the Concentration camps ulcers horriffic to say the least, and at least 30 000 Boer women and Children Were driven from hun farms Which Were torched under Lord Kitchener’s Scorched Earth policies. The attached files are an ima…

MS-13 and Los Zetas Drug cartels stealing millions of barrels of oil and taking over control of the drug trade.

Los Zetas vs Ms 13 from Los Zetas is an armed criminal gang that operates as a hired army for the Gulf Cartel. The group is believed to be led by Heriberto “The Executioner” Castanon. Los Zetas, the Ninth CartelTuesday, May 18, 2010 |  Borderland Beat Reporter Buggs

Major pedophile Somali-Muslim sex gang busted in Minnesota and Tennessee.

In a series of arrests carried out Monday morning in the Twin Cities and Nashville, Tennessee, federal and local authorities broke up a human trafficking ring that provided underage prostitutes. A federal indictment unsealed Monday morning in Nashville details the sex trafficking operations of 29 Somali men and women tied to the Somali Outlaws, Somali Mafia and Lady Outlaws gangs, which are all connected and based in Minneapolis. Of the 29 indicted, 12 were arrested Monday morning in the Twin Cities, eight in Nashville and six were already in jail in various locations. Three remain at-large and wanted.MORE

 FBI-2011 National Gang Threat Assessment 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends
view printable version (pdf) The gang estimates presented in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA) represent the collection of data provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) through the National Drug Threat Survey, Bureau of Prisons, State Correctional Facilities, …