Monday, April 23, 2012

Church members arrested for physically abusing mentally disabled woman

The adoptive mother of the 21-year-old, mentally handicapped woman helped sew costumes for church productions. The mother's husband was part of the church prison ministry team. Today, they remain in the Escambia County Jail, accused of torturing DeeAnn Hale's 21-year-old adopted daughter, who is said to have the mental capacity of a child. Rondal F. Hale, 59, was arrested along with his 53-year-old wife and their friend, Clinton M. Carr, 53, of Lillian, Ala., on Saturday on a charge of aggravated abuse of a disabled adult. The young woman was found handcuffed and bleeding in the backyard of her family's Bellview home. She was chained to a sandwich-style body billboard that was so heavy it had embedded chain marks on her neck, and she had a gash in the back of her head that had been crudely sewn together with a needle and thread, and apparent ligature marks on her neck. "What I've seen and read in the news has just broken my heart," said the Rev. Wesley Alvarez, 40, pastor of My Father's Vineyard, where the Hales were active members. "But we had no idea. None." The details of the abuse began to emerge Saturday afternoon and hung heavy over the congregation of about 250, including about 50 in an overflow room, at regular Sunday morning services at the church on Pensacola Boulevard. Early in the two-hour plus service, Alvarez talked briefly about the arrests, urging the congregation to pray for everyone involved. The woman remains hospitalized in stable condition. Three young boys, whom deputies say are DeeAnn Hale's grandchildren, were staying in the home and are now staying with other relatives. Alvarez also told his congregation not to gossip or discuss the case with others and to avoid speculation. "Two church members are arrested," he said. "I don't want to hear people talking about it in a form of gossip. That's not a Christian thing to do." After the service, Alvarez said Rondal Hale joined the church in 2008. He met and married DeeAnn Hale about two years ago. Alvarez said the whole family — including the young woman and DeeAnn Hale's grandsons — regularly attended. The church has earned a reputation for its various outreach programs — including ministering to the homeless and the addicted. The church welcomes all with little notice paid to typical church pageantry. Most in the crowd on Sunday wore jeans. Plenty wore shorts and T-shirts and leather motorcycle gear. Some wore ball caps. Alvarez preached in jeans from the pulpit. His sermon touched on a variety of subjects, including complete surrender to God and Alvarez's own escape from cocaine and heroin addiction. "Rondal was on our prison ministry team. DeeAnn was involved in our productions — she was our costume maker," Alvarez said after the service. "This has come as a very great shock to us." Alvarez said Carr had attended a few services. "He's been around for about a month or two," he said. "But he hasn't joined the church." The Hales seemed concerned about the woman's welfare, Alvarez said. "They have asked advice on what to do about her weight gain," he said. Alvarez and other church officials suggested the Hales get a Wii Fit computer workout game to help the woman exercise. "We thought that might make it fun," he said. "We were trying to come up with something entertaining." Law enforcement officials said the abuse case is one of the most brutal they have witnessed locally. Sheriff's spokesman Matt Baxter called it "animalistic." After responding to a Saturday morning 911 call to a home in the 2800 block of Christine Street, a deputy followed the sound of sobbing to the backyard. There, he found the young woman bound with pink faux-fur-covered handcuffs, bleeding from the mouth. She was weighed down with a plywood billboard that was chained to her neck. One side bore the misspelling "I am a liar and a theif." The other side read "I well not." She was being forced to walk around an above-ground pool. It was raining, and she was shivering. "Please help me," she cried to the deputy. The woman told the deputy she was being punished for taking candy from a collection that her mother had set aside to give to the homeless. http://www.pnj.com/article/20120423/NEWS01/204230320/2-accused-abusing-mentally-disabled-woman-regular-churchgoers-pastor-says?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The church in question here, "My Father's Vineyard" is a cult. Many of the members are convicted felons and criminals. Beware of these "christians"

Anonymous said...

OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO THESE PEOPLE OF "MY FATHERS VINEYARD" ARE. THEY ARE THE WELCOMING AND ACCEPTING PEOPLE I HAVE EVER MET. JESUS DID NOT REQUIRE A BACKGROUND CHECK OF THE PEOPLE HE ACCEPTED. NO MATTER WHERE THEY CAME FROM OR WHAT LAY IN THEIR PAST, HE LOVED AND FORGAVE THEM. THE PEOPLE OF THE VINEYARD ARE A PRIME EXAMPLE OF WHAT JESUS WOULD WANT THEM TO BE. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU PERSECUTE, AND JUDGE FOR YOU TOO WILL STAND BEFORE GOD ON JUDGEMENT DAY. I KNOW THESE PEOPLE PERSONALLY, AND I WOULD STAKE MY LIFE TO SAY THAT THE PEOPLE WHO LEAD THIS CHURCH HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS GOING ON. PEOPLE COME TO CHRUCH TO WORSHIP THE LORD AND BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE NOT REQUIRED. DONT JUDGE LEST YE BE JUDGED.

Butch Jones said...

As Christians, we are not perfect, we are forgiven, While these people may be christians, or profess to be, THEIR ACTS IN THIS CASE ARE NOT SOMETHING CHRIST WOULD APPROVE OF, The bible says to children..Ephesians 6:2-3

Good News Translation (GNT)

2 “Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: 3 “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.”

Then it Goes on to Address the parents in verse 4,
Ephesians 6:4

Good News Translation (GNT)

4 Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.

this means that children are to obey their parents and if they do they will have a long and happy life, but the bible also says not to raise them in such a way that would make them angry, (that does not mean if they get mad parents are failing), this is talking about abuse. children are the most precious to God, and he does not take kindly to them being abused, and i am sure any current member of MFV would tell you the same. so do not judge the church based on the actions of a few bad Fruits, i know a few people who have changed more than i can explain(FOR THE BETTER) because of how much the Holy Spirit Flows through My Fathers Vineyard in Pensacola, Florida.

Butch Jones said...

YOU CANNOT BLAME THE ACTIONS OF A FEW ON THE ENTIRE RELIGION, IF A POLITICIAN DOES DRUGS, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE ALL DRUG ADDICTS, BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE YOU START SPOUTING GOSSIP.

Anonymous said...

That is my sister this happen to

Unknown said...

You can't blame a whole church for actions of one.. There is always one bad apple in every bunch, just sometimes it's hard to see and help if you don't know...this church is loving, caring and compassionate and may I add humble is Pastor Wes Alvarez, wonderful family oriented congregation... Jesus said if you are without sin, cast the first stone...are anyone us without sin, no, none of us are righteous, no not one!