Judge orders that Wayne Bent be released from custody


Beyond90Seconds.com has learned that Wayne Bent was released from jail this morning.

New Mexico Judge Gerald E. Baca issued a two page Order for Release on Thursday. The judge’s order was filed at the Union County Courthouse shortly after 8 o’clock (MST) this morning.

Beyond90Seconds.com contacted an employee at the jail in Clayton at about 9:45am (MST) today.  The employee stated that Bent had been released from jail “about 30-minutes ago.”

When asked if any bond had been posted, the employee briefly consulted with a superior, then replied that information about Bent’s case can no longer be released.

When asked if the request for information would have been granted if the request had come from a TV station, the employee stated, “No.”

While unconfirmed, the employee’s response suggests the possibility that a Gag Order may now be in effect for Bent’s case.

Bent’s trial is scheduled to begin December 8.  The leader of the Lord Our Righteousness Church is charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Two days ago, Bent’s attorney filed an Emergency Motion for Release from Custody on her client’s behalf.

The judge’s order releasing Bent, filed this morning, appears below:


28 thoughts on “Judge orders that Wayne Bent be released from custody”

  1. This is quite a surprising turn of events. Somehow it will not surprise me if Wayne gets off on all these charges. And that would really be a tragedy. He will return, with more power over these poor unsuspecting girls than ever. Very sad indeed.

  2. “This is quite a surprising turn of events. Somehow it will not surprise me if Wayne gets off on all these charges.”


    21 Nov 08 at 6:24 am

    The courts aren’t really about truth and justice so much as they are about the “law.” Since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hard evidence in this case, and the SC folks are experts in obfuscation, the results will depend largely on which of the lawyers has the ability to come up with the best “narrative.” If Ms. Montoya takes some tips from Wayne, then she should do quite well.

  3. Why anyone would be surprised that Wayne Bent was released puzzles me. He hasn’t been convicted of a crime and he really poses no flight risk. What surprises me is that his attorney waited so long to file this request. I think he would have been given these same terms within 48 hours of his most recent incarceration. In my opinion, the judge was merely wanting to punish Bent (sending a message) for disobeying his original terms of release and after he made his point, I don’t think the judge had any need (or inclination) to keep him behind bars.

    However, this release is not indicative of how the trial will come out. That’s going to depend on how well the evidence is presented and whether the jury decides that the law has been broken. But, I have always maintained that he stands a good chance of acquittal, because a good defense attorney could demonstrate that the acts weren’t sexual (I am of the opinion that they probably were inappropriate, but proving that might be an impossible task with an uncooperative witness who is now 17).

    Grooming (and sexual intent) could possibly have been established, probably easily, if the DA had gone through the routine procedure of acquiring the computer hard drives and printed communication records, but it appears that none of that was done. Any otherwise acquired information (about what was written or said) might not meet admissability tests. That failure to secure solid evidence hints of incompetence and gives a glimpse of perhaps a sloppy, haphazardly put together case. All that bodes well for the defense.

  4. If you look at the pickup and arrest order it was his attorney that submitted that order, not the DA or the Judge. I’m not a mind reader but if I had a client who was refusing to eat and refusing to cooperate/show up for his own trial (that alone makes him something of a flight risk) it might call for desperate measures to help him understand the seriousness of what he was doing.

    She’s a very good attorney and might actually get him off with a slap on the wrist or even an acquittal but NOT if he messes up like he did this last go round by his public Internet diatribe and fasting that affects not only him but also his followers. I don’t think it was a punishment at all, just a wake up call. Cooling his heals in jail and eating a little bit to get the old brain working again was the best thing for him. If he can just hang in there and not do anything else to jeopardize his case in the little over 2 weeks left before the trial starts he might have a chance.

    Personally I think he’s sick and needs help but it’s not my call to make. That will be up to the jury seated in Taos, God help them! It’s probably one of the strangest cases they will ever have the pleasure of serving on a jury for. As far as the 2 witnesses go, we’ve only heard outbursts from one; there is another and I haven’t read anything from her proclaiming his innocence. Maybe she isn’t as happy with WB’s handling of her as the other witness seems to be.

  5. KM, from what I understand, when a judge issues an order from the bench regarding a defendant, both the defense and the prosecution must sign off on it and there is no significance attached to the authorship. It is coming from the judge, no matter who wrote it. This is because, to the best of my knowledge, when a judge plans to issue some sort of order, which will directly affect a defense attorney’s client, the judge will often allow the defense attorney to initially craft the specifics prior to the judge actually issuing the final format of the order. This way, the defense attorney can produce a document for the judge’s approval which, in her opinion, looks out for her client’s rights, but satisfies the objectives of the order which the judge has announced that he will be issuing. Sometimes the DA may be the initial author of an order, because they are the ones who may have expressed special concerns. Then, when the draft is completed and the judge has no further edits, everyone (both sides and the judge) signs it (as an acknowledgement that they have no protests as to legality of it or propriety in the case of a client’s rights). Therefore the attorney (whether it is the defense or the prosecution) who drafted it actually isn’t the one who was requesting the order, but merely the one who was most protecting their interests by conducting the primary authorship.

  6. Okay, I’ll buy that. But I still think she might have been just a little happy to have him confined for a short while so she could try and diffuse an out of control situation. If your client at his own hand is incapacitated or if he refuses to be at a trial because he’s decided that the whole system is evil it doesn’t help your case very much. She is certainly earning her fee from this case.

    Refusing to cooperate and publicly stating that he won’t participate in the trial sounds to me like a flight risk. Or maybe he’s just going to sit there with duct tape over his mouth.

    Also, I wonder what the rules are for spectators/media in the courtroom? Isn’t the media usually allowed access to a trial? Or maybe because the trial concerns children access will be restricted?

    It’s going to be interesting and it’s certainly time to get this show on the road!

  7. What was silly about Wayne issuing his non-sensical statement that he wouldn’t be participating in the trial is that no defendant has to say anything in any trial (but, he has to attend). It is his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination (“No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”). So, no mouth tape will be needed. He doesn’t have to testify at all.

    Yes, trials are public, based on the Sixth Amendment, which grants that right to the defendant. Since that is his “right,” he, technically, could ask that the public and media be denied, but that really requires special circumstances (because there is a lot of precedence regarding the public’s need to know). That would take up a lot of the court’s time and preparation by the defense to present arguments for a closed trial (so it probably won’t happen). Usually in a popular trial (because space is limited) a few tickets are always granted to the media and immediate family of the defendant and the “victims” and then a gallery of ordinary citizens are permitted seats, based on a daily drawing. My guess is that his “crew” will attempt to stuff the courtroom, but when that happens the judge usually steps in and does the seating by drawing numbers from all those who wish to attend. Cameras in the courtroom are not a “right” and only are there with consent from all sides (especially the defense), including the judge. Defense attorneys refusing TV coverage is what killed off the Court-tv network… not enough trials to cover.

    Anyone called as a witness cannot attend the trial, except when in the witness box (because hearing testimony from others might corrupt their statements). So, if you want to keep anyone out of the courtroom… put them on the witness list. Unless they are called to the stand, they won’t be in the room.

  8. ~~~~~~~”She’s good attorney/ might actually get him off w/ slap on wrist or/ an acquittal”~~~~~~~~~
    Lets all hope/pray is more than a slap, especially just his wrist!
    I say offending “parts” needs a good whapping!
    Bible says “What so ever offends you, should be cut off!” so you won’t be tempted to sin again.
    If he gets off with anything less than just a few months and/or simple probation, will only bolster the man.
    Worst of all will send a story around the world that anyone can get away with committing crimes against children as long as its for religious reasons!
    He will become the “gawd of all gawds”!
    This WILL set new precedence making it possible without threat of the law, for pedophiles to “enjoy”
    the freedom to act out just about any sexual acts and or/perversions they wish or like on young children as long as its for religious purposes and/ or healings!
    Just where does the “new line” get drawn and by whom?
    Does mr WayBent get to set these lines, rules and laws?
    And if so then just who is responsible for allowing him to set new precedence’s? We the people?
    Take this case back 100 years or so, he’d not gone half this far!
    Where will this end, or will it? What is next?
    Actual and literal sex with a child, how young does one draw this line?
    Do we as members of human race finally band together to force authorities hand into stopping these type “Religious practices”?
    Then were do we stop? Where is the new line or will the “pendulum” swing back a 180* from here?
    Just how far will God allow this “man” & others to go?

    History channel recently aired a new documentary about Jim Jones, Jones-Town cult. Can be found by Google search, then onto their web site.
    All would find this very interesting to read as Strong City/mr WayBent saga mirrors Jim Jones Jones-Town saga down to the last interviews.
    What this docu pointed out, was most prevalent how Jim Jones was constantly taking “his” people to their ultimate limits both mentally and physically.
    But he’d “move the lines” in order to keep strict control as well as explain reasons his stories/predictions didn’t come to pass or did not line up with reality.
    And just as mr WayBent claims, “his people” were free to go anytime they wished without consequences.
    No one dared leave as it always meant death!
    The people were terrified of leaving.
    Jim Jones also claimed he welcomed outsiders and concerned family members onto his compound any time they pleased. But that was never true!
    He always had some excuse why they weren’t allowed onto his “compound” would be sent away, but then days later were allowed access.
    Who knows what took place or what threats were made to make “things” perfectly clear!
    He also had “his people” convinced there would be a Nuclear Holocaust, ONLY place in the world they were safe, was in Jones-Town.
    Most alarming is seeing how closely SC mirrors Jones-Town, but scariest of all how Jim Jones and Wayne Bent think too much alike!
    There’s much more on this 2 hours long documentary, and would be worrisome and bothersome for those having loved ones under mr WayBents control, the ones he calls “his people”!

  9. CryTears – what is the purpose of these rambling off-topic tirades? They just repeat your earlier posts which you did elsewhere on this site (you hate the guy, we get the point). Look at the blog’s subject post (at the top) to see what to respond to (this wasn’t about Jonestown). Calling someone a name, as you have repeatedly done referring to Wayne Bent, is simply bad internet blogging etiquette (and destroys any argument you might have, because a derogatory moniker is without substantiation and just eliminates any consideration of your rants as having any objectivity). People who enjoy intelligent discussions just run away when a thread deteriorates with repetitious attacks and material unrelated to what the blog author was posting about. Did you not notice that these discussions are always closed when the threads go off-topic and non-objective? Of course, I am also off-topic now… but for your posts it is really indicated. My questions are meant only rhetorically… I won’t respond further to you.

  10. Johnny D. Miller

    Personally I have no problem with Wayne being allowed to go home before his trial. The court system is also allowing that 8 year old boy who shot and killed his father and friend to go home as well and spend Thanksgiving with his family. I suppose they have alot to be thankful for as well???? I have spend many of a Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends at Strong City, and actually in years past, they don’t do too bad. One can still put together a rather good feast without using animal products of any kind, and God knows they all need to pack on a couple of pounds now-a-days after their fast. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that they do still observe, and I imagine they do have many things to be thankful for. And as for preparing for the trial, Wayne does indeed need a haircut and other clothes. I somewhat don’t think that he will show up with the “Jesus” look, wearing his native white New Mexican pancho this time, or wear his white robe with gold corded girdle and breast plate. It would look rather distracting to the jury. One of the things Wayne’s ex-wife Sandy said to him when she last saw him was the fact that he needed a haircut. Wayne was always rather clean-cut and proper in his personal appearance and hygiene. Hopefully the trial will go on as scheduled, and everyone will be heard and justice served.

  11. Why I was surprised that they released Wayne, was because he had failed to show up before, for a hearing. They then arrested him at his compound. In reality though they certainly know he is not going anywhere and whether they let him out before his trial is probably a moot point.

    Certainly the defense attorney has much in his favor because most of the evidence is unproven without the testimony of these poor young girls, who seem reluctant or I guess unwilling to speak against their beloved “Michael.” And if this case was, as is suggested a less than stellar effort by the prosecution Wayne might in deed be a free man very soon.

    I’m with KM though, I think Wayne is one very sick man. Men such as him that use sex as some sort of religious experience need help, but I also am one that believes for the most part in our legal system so I will sit back and hope for justice.

    What I wouldn’t give to be sitting on that Taos jury. Those men and women are going to be hearing one of the more interesting cases as of late.

  12. CryTears, Last week on the anniversary of Jonestown I went back and read a little bit about it. I too was under the impression that SC was following the same path. But, I discovered one particular way that distinguishes Jonestown from SC.

    I don’t think it started this way but the People’s Temple was becoming a very communist society. It sounds like towards the end God was almost completely out of the picture and the issues being proclaimed were mostly political. In fact, a few of the survivors actually were sent off with tons of money to be delivered to the Communist Party (I think it was in Russia but can’t remember for sure). You can’t trust everything you read but it sounded like many of the people who died wrote handwritten wills directing that any assets from their estates were to be given to the Communist party.

    Even though there seems to be a lot of hatred for the USA, as far as I can tell, SC doesn’t support communism. And while their beliefs are a little strange to an outsider like myself, nonetheless they do seem to profess a belief in God.

    I didn’t know his attorney was Catholic (wouldn’t surprise me though since this is New Mexico and a big majority of people in this state are Catholic including myself) but if it’s true It is ironic because of his hate towards Catholics. It’s also maddening to me that as a taxpayer my taxes are going to help defend a man who hates this Country so much.

    Oh well, soon hopefully this will be behind us and the families who are so worried will have some peace in their lives.

  13. I’m willing to give this Wayne Bent/Michael Travesser fellow the benefit of the doubt that he did not actually sexually abuse any of these minors. (I think he was smart enough to know that he would have been breaking the law and would have put himself in true legal jeopardy) What I find more disturbing is that this man purposely seduced and had adulterous sex with a number of the wives of members (and most astonishingly, his own son’s wife) and has the gall to try convince his followers that it was the will of god? That he was acting under divine direction? I feel particularly sorry for the son, Jeff Bent, who has valiantly defended the father. Michael Travesser is no messiah but I think Jeff Bent is a saint.

  14. Wow…, this is some weird messed up stuff. Little wonder that people want nothing to do with the real God. Wow…

  15. Why do the Roman Catholic Bishops, that protected pedophile priests, never get arrested?
    When do these compounds called “Cloisters” get raided?
    Them Roman Catholics killed and tortured 68 Million people, before the 20th century begun!

    Nice seeing all these Roman Catholics in comments agree on the lies they make international. Yes, lies! Supporting lies by Roman Catholic Judges. Lies about Jesus Christ, lies about God! Killing the messenger will not help your cause papists, you will all go to hell. And you will deny it, so no escape for you.


  16. Geus,

    As far as I know, I’m the only Catholic who has commented on here. You obviously hate Catholics but no need to get nasty about it. Any comments I’ve made are because I care that children might have been abused, nothing else. I wouldn’t presume to sit in judgement on someone else’s religion. But, if you want to start slinging dung, there’s plenty to go around. So watch out!

    Pedophile priests sinned and the people who looked the other way did too by not protecting the children. Anyone involved will have to answer to God and some have and/or will answer in a court of law.
    The same is true for the people at SC, the FLDS, the Tony Alamo foundation and others. They did not get “raided” because of their religion. They were “raided” because of their alleged abuse of children. If they sinned by abusing children and if others sinned by looking away they will also have to answer to God and some, like WB, will be answering in a court of law.
    Cloisters on the other hand are groups of adults living a religious life together, in a compound if you want to call it that. But they are adults, not children. Big difference!

    I can’t even begin to address the killing and torturing you mention. It would require a nice long history class to truly understand that religious freedom has not always been free. Suffice it to say that all religions (including the Roman Catholic Church) have at some point in time been persecuted because of their beliefs.

    Your last paragraph is just rambling. International lies? Lies by Roman Catholic judges? Lies about Christ and God? Who is trying to kill what messenger? What are you talking about?

    Yes, sadly, some people of all faiths will go to hell. But unlike you, I believe everyone, no matter what religion they profess, has the same chance for salvation as the next person.

    And I’m not trying to escape, no need – because Christ died for me and even you. I will not deny Christ, He has already saved me! I hope you don’t deny Him either. God bless!

  17. I’m willing to give this Wayne Bent/Michael Travesser fellow the benefit of the doubt that he did not actually sexually abuse any of these minors. (I think he was smart enough to know that he would have been breaking the law and would have put himself in true legal jeopardy) What I find more disturbing is that this man purposely seduced and had adulterous sex with a number of the wives of members (and most astonishingly, his own son’s wife) and has the gall to try convince his followers that it was the will of god? That he was acting under divine direction? I feel particularly sorry for the son, Jeff Bent, who has valiantly defended the father. Michael Travesser is no messiah but I think Jeff Bent is a saint.

    It would be interesting to know exactly how Jeff, deep down feels towards his father. The relationship that developed between Michael and Jeff’s wife is a most bizarre element to this case. And for me it shows one of many ways that Wayne is indeed a very sick man.

    As for the benefit of the doubt to Wayne’s conduct with the minors … after reading the “two witnesses,” statements, especially those of
    Anaiah Travesser, it would be hard for me sitting on any jury seeing that, not truly believe Wayne’s actions were sexual towards those young girls. So while I am usually an innocent until proven guilty person, with this case that is becoming more and more difficult.

  18. My heart goes out to the people of SC and their families. The followers of Wayne are truly convicted and believe every word out of his mouth. It’s interesting to know that a good share of these people were originally Seventh Day Adventist. They are a far cry from the belief’s of the SDA church now. They have been mislead by a very beguiling man with a need for control. Control freaks are people that do not feel in control of their own lives. Well there you have it.

    I pray that justice will be served here. Wayne should pay for his illegal actions. No matter what his excuse for laying naked with under age children, it’s wrong. There is no good reason for a 60 some year old man claiming to be Messiah to put into these children’s minds that they need to lay naked with him to be saved. Wow! I feel I am a fair open minded person. However this is a very bad man. He is no Messiah!

  19. The circus is coming to town on 12/08. It will be interesting to see how may clowns get out of the tiny car!

  20. Some interesting updates on the case lookup site:

    11/24/2008 ORD: ORDER

    Apparently there was a gag order then?

    I was very surprised to see this:

    11/25/2008 ADDENDUM

    Sam Redman is going to be a witness? For the defense?

    12/03/2008 MTN: MOTION

    I wonder what hearsay documents those would be? The archives of (incriminating) postings on the SC website maybe?

  21. Hello Raycot,

    Here you go:

    -There is a Gag Order. Anticipating its filing nearly a couple of weeks ago, I submitted an advance request for it. Since that time, I’ve been busy with a move. Checked in again today (Friday/12-5), and was told the file is now Taos-bound, but that I can get a copy following the trial.
    -Sam Redman is a witness for the prosecution.
    -Your hunch regarding the Motion in Limine may be correct. Stay tuned…


  22. KM,

    Why would I hate Roman Catholics? Any how, thanks for your serious reply. And thanks for mentioning Tony Alamo. Tony Alamo has been converting many Roman Catholics from the Cup of the Martyrs and Saints of the whore described in Revelation.
    As you might notice, I and many others have a different understanding of
    Revelation 17:4~17:6
    And the woman was arrayed in PURPLE (bishops) and SCARLET (cardinals) colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (her daughters) AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of her saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

    This is a description of the Roman Catholic Church.
    But the Pope is described on several places in Revelation.
    Revelation 11:11~11:13
    And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as the dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

    The healed wound is called CounterReformation, or in these days, the Charismatic movement. The fire and great wonders are the military arm of the Vatican, that we see behind most of the wars in the 20th Century. Vietnam for a Roman Catholic president and persecution of Buddhists, while using Communist propaganda against them. Current war in Iraq: The Jesuits where expelled from Iraq in 1969.
    Truth is easy.

    These are well known facts. I can quote many passages in Revelation, where the role of the Roman Catholic Church is described. But many other things are found, like, the asking for the payment of indulgences, the Holy Inquisition, the fact that Adolph Hitler was just a Roman Catholic killing Jews and Protestants for the Pope. The Pope is the AntiChrist, no one else. So I do not commit Blasphemy. But the one calling the Pope the Vicar of Christ, that one is commits to Blasphemy.

    An interesting Blasphemy never the less.
    Further research shows, that the two horns on the head of the Popes and Cardinals, the miter, is found also during the time the Torah was written down. The priests of Balylon. Dagon was a fish god in Babylon, the fish head was what these priests where wearing. If you want to understand Roman Catholicism, you might want to have a look at what the Bible wrote on Babylon.

    I do not hate Babylon. But in the Tora, the Old Testament, you might be surprised on how the “I AM” thinks about Babylon.

    You don’t fool me KM.

  23. @Truth be known,
    Michael Travesser is Messiah to me.

    I state that freedom of religion is at stake here. Because, why have I, and many others, no right to believe, that Michael is Messiah. I agree, He is not very powerful, but He is my friend, and I love Him. I love his culture, his Bible quotes, his bravery, his people. If you think His publications are blasphemous, you might want to figure out what blasphemy is.

    Me and many others abroad watch how this persecution of Christians in America is done by an old enemy, that is doing this in Europe for 1618 years now, calculated from the first Council of Nicea. When Waco Texas occured in 1993, most Europeans knew who was behind it, and these would not dare to do this in Europe these days, because they might get expelled easy since the 1960’s!

    I know what you are playing, and I call you Obstinate Heretics. That is not as bad as the accusations, that you put on my friend.

  24. Geus:
    Your friend is either mentally ill or demonized. In our country a person is freely entitled to be either…as long as that person doesn’t victimize others who don’t wish to be victimized or, in the case of minors, who may not know better. That protection is why laws are created. And your friend will be given a fair trial to discover if those laws have been broken.

  25. Everyone needs to realize that there is a big differance between what you “believe” and what you “know”.

  26. Geus,
    Blasphemy is the disrespectful use of the name of one or more gods.
    Wayne is fortunate to have such a great friend as you. However that does not make him any less guilty from his words and actions. If my daughter were one of the girls that were coerced into lying naked with Wayne, I would most definitely make sure he is prosecuted. There is no reason whatsoever that anyone should be convinced that either lying naked or having spiritual intercourse (??) is their way into Heaven.
    I truly hope that justice is served. Wayne may be a nice man and your friend. But he is not anything more then a man that has practiced immoral behavior in the name of Christianity and faith.
    Justice will be served one way or another.

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