Livingstone Fagan

Livingstone Fagan is one of the surviving Branch Davidians. In June 1994, during the trial of him and his fellow Davidians, he gave the following testimony.

The testimony was posted to LiberNet February 18, 1995, by Carol Moore, who said "Below are statements eight Branch Davidians made June 16 and 17, 1994 just before federal Judge Walter J. Smith sentenced them to a total of 240 years on aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter and/or weapons charges ... These statements, taken from the trial transcript, have been edited somewhat for clarity and brevity."

Judge, I noticed in your initial address regarding the Sentencing Guidelines you gave some examples as to why the Court has to sentence the way it has to sentence, and also why the Court has to sentence at all. In those examples, you used people who had acknowledged their guilt. Also, in the arguments presented here by the defense counsel and the prosecution with respect to sentencing, they may have left the impression that we are in some way implying that we were guilty. I would like to point out that there is no doubt in our minds that we are innocent. I think that all the Defendants share that position.

As a matter of fact, we would like it to be reflected on the record that the charge to which we are actually brought here today, for which the jury returned the verdict of guilty, that of [aiding and abetting] voluntary manslaughter, was not, in fact, included on the original indictment. Furthermore, it was added after the defense had rested its case, and, for most of us, it was without consultation. And we certainly do not accept it.

Let me also state for myself personally, never, at any point, have I sought to distance myself from David Koresh, his teachings, or from the actions of the residents of Mount Carmel during February 28th through April 19th. There is no doubt in my mind that the actions that we were forced to take were justified, given the circumstances that we were placed in by the actions of the agents of the Government.

You pointed out that the reasons why you were forced to sentence us the way you intend to do is because of the people, through Congress. You also indicated that through the jury's decision, representing the people, again, you are forced to sentence us. So, effectively, the reason we are being sentenced today is because of the people.

The people. It's funny, this reminds me of a situation, coming from a religious commune, that goes back to 2,000 years ago regarding Christ. You made mention of the fact many people had contacted you on the phone regarding this whole affair, requesting leniency, which is not something that I request. I fully support the actions that were taken at Mount Carmel. It's unfortunate regarding the consequences. But regarding what you said about those who contacted you, it reminds me of that woman that came to Pilate and said something to the effect, "Have nothing to do with this just man," but nevertheless, he went ahead and did what he did.

There were other symbols that we notice in this whole trial, right from the beginning, that affirm for us the fact that we were pursuing realities pertaining to the spirit, that this Court does not recognize, as they did not recognize 2,000 years ago. Right from the beginning, the spiritual aspect of this was totally and absolutely rejected. But it was the core of why we were at Mount Carmel, and why we acted the way that we acted. The fact that this was rejected gave me the impression that, right from the beginning, we were never going to receive justice. And right now, we do not feel that justice has been done today because a crucial element facilitating that was denied. And you expect us, given what we've gone through, to support what is going on today, to acknowledge somehow that we were responsible, that we were guilty. We remain convinced that everything that we have done, everything that we've suffered, we've suffered for truth and justice. It pains my heart when I hear statements like "paying restitution." For what?

My attorney says to me something to the effect that, "Livingstone, all of this will be taken up in appeal. You don't really have to worry about this." Two thousand years ago when Christ was on the cross, we know that he was innocent. But he didn't have an appeal, did he? The system killed him. Is that appeal going to bring back [my wife] Evette, David, the children and all of the rest? No, it's not. Appeal doesn't mean nothing to me. It doesn't mean nothing to us, nothing short of the lives of the people that were lost is of any benefit. But we are comforted in the thought that we entered into this whole situation on the basis of a faith that has been proven true in as much as that we endured the circumstances we did. We don't particularly care what you want to do. You're going to do it anyway.

But we also serve a God who sits on a throne, like you, a judge. He's got a book in his hand, sealed with Seven Seals. Men don't know his judgement. Consequently, Mount Carmel happened the way that it did. As you have judged, so, too, you will be judged. This is only an opportunity, from our perspective, for you, not for ourselves.

I really don't think that there is much to be gained by pursuing words. Through the 51-day negotiation period, David tried to pursue words in an effort to prevent this, the events that happened, but it made no difference. My purpose here was to make clear to the public that we in no way want to leave any impression in the mind of anyone that we are anything but innocent. And we do not accept this notion, this facade that is being presented in this court, that somehow we have agreed with this judgement, with this sentencing, with anything that has taken place. We have not, and we want to make this clear. We are innocent. Absolutely, without any doubts whatsoever. We know we are innocent.

(Livingstone Fagan, 35, a British social worker, masters in theology and father of two, left Mount Carmel during the siege. He was sentenced to 40 years and was non- cooperating by refusing to appeal.)

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