22 May 2009

Armstrong arrested, fingerprinted, and released on bail

The rumours I heard yesterday are, in fact, true. The Grand Jury returned a 20-count indictment of felony theft charges ($291,000) against "the Rev'd" Donald Armstrong, former priest of The Episcopal Church. The Gazette has the details here.

After the arrest warrant was issued, Armstrong surrendered himself to the legal authorities. He was fingerprinted, photographed, and released, presumably on bail. Please note that he was not removed from church property in handcuffs as some have stated.

According to the article,
If convicted on all 20 felony counts, Armstrong, 60, could spend the rest of his life in prison. Each count comes with a possible prison sentence of 4 to 12 years, said Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut. Fines against Armstrong could mount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With so much evidence against him, and from what we know of his conduct, it is difficult not to prejudge him. We must remember that until the verdict is delivered he is presumed to be innocent according to the law.

The indictment and arrest is a major blow for the schismatics. Armstrong was the shining and "comes-with-lots-of-money" star. Now he has been arrested on charges of grand theft. Ever the spin-doctor, Armstrong said
I will, after years of unbridled false accusations, have my day in court, so this is a good step in that direction.
We shall see exactly what direction that step takes - I'm betting on incarceration. One must wonder what the charges would be if the shredded documents were available to the authorities.

According to the article,
    Grand juries convene when an attorney general or district attorney concludes there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.

    Wednesday's indictment concludes a long chapter in Armstrong's ongoing saga that began in December 2006 when the rector was placed on leave by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado for alleged financial misconduct.
A Grace Episcopal vestry member put it best, perhaps, "He's got great gifts, but also tremendous failings. He has a sense of entitlement about himself that can lead to this type of behavior." Entitlement is his middle name.

Armstrong's schismatic community is solidly behind him, of course - the Stockholm syndrome at work. According to Kathleen Buzby, a CANA parish member
Until someone actually proves something against Father Armstrong, I'm backing him. He's straightforward and honest.
Another member, Marge Goss (and according to "James in Colorado," a vestry person), said,
The church is totally behind Don, but we will be glad when this is behind us.
Straightforward, yes, but the courts will tell us about Armstrong's honesty.

We should also ask what this arrest means to the credibility of the CANAnites? Remember they pronounced all Armstrong's financial dealings as above-board and legal. Now that he has been officially arrested, will the schismatic leaders inhibit him? Does the U.S. have extradition agreements with Nigeria and Argentina?

But, CANA's irregularly consecrated bishop Martin Minns said:
[T]he indictment was a painful but necessary step in Armstrong's journey of publicly proving his innocence.
After being booked, fingerprinted, jailed and released on bond Thursday, Armstrong returned to St. George's to preside over the evening Ascension Day service. Ah, the hubris.

We are fast approaching the "three-strikes" rule for the ecclesial community of schismatics in the Americas. One must wonder how many aspirin they needed yesterday.

The Denver Post has a good article as well. As of 23 May there is an updated article here. Take note of the lengthy list of links to other Denver Post articles about Armstrong and the ongoing investigation.

For some background, read Fr. Jake's reports here and here. Also see TTLS' posts here and here.

Guess what story a certain site that has the same initials as San Francisco had not posed on even though said story has been out for about 24-hours?

[Updated at 9 AM 24 May]

PS Thanks "Acolyte"