Pastor's Attorney Advises to Surrender

WXIA-TV Atlanta/March 12, 2003
By Kevin Rowson

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Metro Fugitive Squad has been asked to help find Reverend Arthur Allen and two of his parishioners.

State probation officials have warrants for the three church members after they failed to show up for a hearing on Friday.

Allen, and two of his followers - David and Sharon Duncan - and at least some of their 16 children have not been since Friday.

The three church members were to answer charged they violated terms of their probation.

"We have no information about where he is or what he is doing," said attorney Ed Garland who represents Allen and the House of Prayer Church in their appeal of an October conviction for cruelty to children.

Allen and four other church members, including the Duncans, were originally charged with whipping two boys at the chuch.

A person who answered the door at the church today said they were too busy to talk, and when asked by 11Alive News where the Allen was, they simply answered that he was not at the church Tuesday.

"I think underlying it is his strong religious belief in the correctness of his conduct and his belief that he is following god's will as he knows it," Garland said.

In trying to explain his client's action, Garland said his advice to him would be to turn himself in.

"The court might revoke his probation based on the fact he didn't appear and violated his probation by failing to appear. But I would advise him to come back and face the charges and face the issues," he said.

If convicted of probation violations, Allen could face up to 10 years in prison. David Duncan could face eight years and Sharon Duncan could face up to five.

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