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Tribune Index to the Terry Stewart Saga

The Saga of a War Hero Against The Federal Courts
1/23/2003  -  What kind of Federal Justice System do we have? Many people ponder just that question and wonder whether there " is any justice left in the federal justice system?" Terry Stewart, a resident of Lewis County, Tennessee, is about to mark his two-year anniversary in jail. He was convicted a little over a year ago in federal court in Asheville, NC. He has yet to be sentenced for the crimes he was convicted of, and he claims that he is innocent. Until he is sentenced, Stewart cannot appeal his convictions, and presiding Judge Lacy Thornburg seems to be in no hurry to sentence Stewart.

PART 2 - The Stewart Saga
1/30/2003  -  Because the Stewarts said there were improprieties that occurred during the raid, they, along with the Vaughans and Banyan, filed a civil RICO suit in August of 2000. The suit named many of the law enforcement agents (in their personal capacity) along with other individuals the Stewarts say violated the law while conducting the raids.

PART 3 - The Stewart Saga
2/06/2003  -  According to Jeni, it was never Terry's intention to go to trial without an attorney. His attorney of choice was in Indianapolis, and Terry planned to obtain permission from the Court to travel to Indianapolis to meet with that attorney while he was out on bond. When his bond was revoked, it became impossible to use that attorney because Terry and Jeni couldn't afford to pay the attorney's travel and lodging expenses to Asheville. When IRS agent Boone took the $130,000 from the Stewart's residence, their ability to pay for an attorney was taken also.

PART 4 - The Stewart Saga Continues
2/13/2003  -  On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the first witness was Giesela Crider, Vaughan's employee that acted as his assistant. She identified by name all of the individuals associated with Banyan, but did not name Terry. Then a document listed as government evidence was put on the screen that listed all of the sales staff and the trader for Banyan. Terry's name wasn't included. She discussed the fraudulent employee verifications that had assisted people in getting mortgages, but again there was no document with Terry's name on it.

PART 5 - Marine veteran still sits in limbo in NC jail, 
no sentence after two years

2/20/2003  -  Squashed by the Federal Justice System, Terry Stewart continues his fight from a cell in McDowell County Jail, where he has been since his conviction in November of 2001. He has yet to be sentenced by Judge Thornburg and cannot appeal his conviction until he has been sentenced.

Local physician calls on Marine Generals to help in Stewart 
case; Visits jail, incredulous about Spartan conditions

3/20/2003  -  The series of articles on former Marine Terry Stewart's trip through the federal court system here in Asheville has attracted a lot of interest. Now, a local physician and former Marine has called out the military brass to take notice of Stewart's plight.

Stewart Trial Delayed
3/27/2003  -  Embattled retired Marine Sergeant Terry Stewart's federal sentencing trial has been continued until late April. Stewart asked for the continuation after all of his pre-sentinel trial motions were denied and it looked as if prosecutors would ask that Stewart be sentenced to life in prison. Stewart entered the courtroom Monday afternoon, March 24 in an orange prison jump suit and wearing leg cuffs. After being seated, Judge Lacy Thornburg asked Stewart if he was ready to proceed. Stewart indicated that he was if he was to be sentenced according to the law. As the sentencing trial was about to get started, Jeni Stewart said she and Terry realized that they were about to get "blind-sided" and Terry asked for a continuance.

Stewart Sentencing Continued Again
5/08/2003 -  Retired Marine Sergeant Terry Stewart, who was to be sentenced in late April, petitioned the court and received a court-appointed lawyer in his sentencing trial. Stewart applied for the lawyer after his first sentencing trial was continued. He also asked for the continuance after all of his motions before the court at the sentencing were denied, and it looked as if prosecutors would ask that Stewart be sentenced to life in prison. Jack Stewart, an Asheville attorney and no relation to defendant Stewart, was appointed by Judge Lacy Thornburg to act as defense attorney. The case has also attracted the attention of the Omaha, Nebraska-based "Free the Innocent."

Signed affidavit states Stewart’s innocence
5/29/2003  -  A signed affidavit from a key player in the Terry Stewart case saying that Stewart was not a part of a "ponsa scheme" has surfaced, but, according to a court appointed lawyer for Stewart, will not be of any use in Stewart's sentencing trial.

Stewart Seeks Case Dismissal
8/11/2003  -  Frequent readers of the Tribune will recognized the name Terry Stewart. Stewart, a retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant Terry, who was to be sentenced in late April here in Asheville's Federal Court for numerous charges involving a "ponsa" scheme of which he continues to claim his innocence.

The Latest How long is 2,100 months?
Stewart's sentence leaves lawyers dismayed
9-29-2003  -  That's the sentence that Terry Stewart received on Friday, September 19 when Judge Lacy Thornburg handed down his verdict in his  Asheville Federal courtroom after a little more than an hour's worth of arguments from Terry's lawyer, Jack Stewart, and the US Attorney's Office. 
Thornburg originally sentenced Terry to 3,780 months, over 300 years, but US Attorney Fred Williams told Thornburg that they were only asking for 2,100 which translates into 175 years. Stewart had argued that the sentence that prosecutors were asking for was "an absolutely crushing sentence" and was far out of line with sentences given to other defendants in the case. Stewart called the sentence "alarming" when compared to the others. Sentences ranging from 20 months to 240 months were standard for fellow defendants.