House of Yahweh critic arrested
Baird -- A Maryland man was jailed for assault and interfering with child
custody four days after trying to storm the gates of the House of Yahweh.
By Loretta Fulton
David Richardson confronted sect members Saturday in an unsuccessful attempt
to get his wife and her 14-year-old daughter to leave the religious sect
that has a compound between Clyde and Eula.
He was briefly detained in Callahan County Jail in Baird Wednesday on one
misdemeanor and one felony charge resulting from his earlier successful
foray into the compound to remove his 6-year-old son and his wife's 12-year-old
Richardson was charged with family violence and assault, a misdemeanor;
and interfering with child custody, a felony, said Sheriff Eddie Curtis.
Justice of the Peace Don Burns set bond at $1,000 on the misdemeanor charge
and $2,500 on the felony. Richardson was released on bond Wednesday afternoon.
County Attorney Allen Wright said the assault charge resulted from a scuffle
that ensued when Richardson removed the 12-year-old boy from the compound.
The youngster is no longer in Texas.
"He's out of state," Wright said. "That's why we had to do
Richardson's wife, Bonnie, who changed her name to Biynyah Hawkins in honor
of the sect's founder Yisrayl Hawkins, has custody of the 12-year-old boy
and the 14-year-old girl, Wright said. Richardson is the father of the 6-year-old
Richardson, an ex-member of the cult, said he is concerned about the welfare
of his wife and the children, and that's why he went to extremes to get
"You have no idea what this man can do," he said in an interview
referring to Yisrayl Hawkins.
But in the eyes of the law he carried his concerns too far. Wright, the
county attorney, said the 12-year-old boy is safe and "the proper agencies
are looking into" whether to return him to his mother in the compound.
"We're still talking to the agencies to see how they want to handle
it," he said.
In addition to the tension at the compound Saturday when Richardson confronted
security guards at the gate, a fire that destroyed two trailer houses early
Sunday morning also brought attention from investigators.
State Fire Marshal's investigator Donald Turk of Anson was brought in to
check out the cause of the fire that destroyed the home of three House of
Yahweh members and an adjacent storage trailer.
"It's rather sensitive, and we wanted to make sure we had all our bases
covered," said Tommy Hudspeth, assistant fire chief at Eula who requested
Turk could not be reached Wednesday, but Sheriff Curtis said the cause apparently
was faulty wiring. He said Turk had requested an electrical expert from
the Dallas office to investigate but had not yet made a ruling.
To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.