August 21, 2009

York's lawyers argue for dismissal

Macon Telegraph/December 17, 2003
By Liz Fabian
The leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, Malachi York, was back in U.S. District Court in Macon Tuesday for a hearing on a number of pre-trial motions filed by his attorneys.

York is accused of taking children across state lines for the purpose of having sex with them and attempting to evade federal financial reporting requirements.

The trial is set to begin Jan. 5 in Brunswick.

Judge Ashley Royal granted a change of venue in October due to pre-trial publicity.

In January, York pleaded guilty to the federal charges, but Royal determined that York withdrew his guilty plea in October.

Attorney Adrian Patrick, the newest member of York's defense team, said they filed a motion to dismiss the case on two grounds - the publicity surrounding York's earlier guilty plea would violate his right to a fair trial and the grand jury was picked from the Middle District of Georgia, which Patrick said was already determined to be a tainted jury pool due to the judge's earlier change of venue ruling.

Royal will issue a ruling on the motions at a later date.

The judge did chide York's followers in court for their participation in the Brunswick Christmas parade earlier this month, where supporters passed out fliers supporting York.

Royal said York will likely remain in custody at the Jones County jail until shortly before the trial begins.

Patrick said the defense is ready to proceed with the January trial.

"You'll get to see a very different side of the case," Patrick said. "Basically you've seen Dr. York get beaten up, but you haven't seen evidence supporting him."

About two dozen people gathered outside the courthouse in support of York and about the same number of supporters sat in the courtroom.

As York left the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind the back of his orange jumpsuit, he smiled at several women in the audience, including a couple of them who blew him a kiss as he passed by.

The Nuwaubians are a cult-like group based in Putnam County that at various times has claimed to be Christian, Muslim, Freemasons and American Indians.

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