T.D. Jakes asks to drop lawsuit against alleged stalker

02/27/2014 11:26 AM

02/27/2014 11:55 AM

Well-known minister and televangelist T.D. Jakes has dropped his lawsuit against a former church member who he accused of stalking him for almost three years.

The motion to drop the suit against Karleisha Tarver, 31, was filed late Wednesday a few days after a court hearing in which it was learned that the woman was not mentally competent to understand a court order to stay away from Jakes, his family and staff.

Tom Hall, a Fort Worth attorney appointed by state District Judge Susan McCoy to represent Tarver, said the case was an “unfair fight.” Hall said that after the hearing, which was held Monday on a temporary injunction, he contacted Jakes’ attorney Faith Johnson.

“It is very difficult to go forward with a case like this with Tarver’s mental condition,” Hall said. He did not provide additional details.

Johnson could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Tarver is currently in the medical unit of the Tarrant County jail, but Hall said she will be transferred back to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas County where she faces a criminal trespass charge after she was arrested on Jan. 26 for trying to enter The Potter’s House in Dallas, Jakes’ church.

During the hearing, Johnson told McCoy, “We are concerned that Miss Tarver may not understand your [McCoy’s] order even if you did grant a temporary injunction.”

McCoy asked Tarver about her name and date of birth and whether she could hear the questions, but Tarver was unresponsive other than to say, “I can hear” and “Blasphemy.”

McCoy then asked, “Do you understand that what they are alleging is that he [Jakes] wants you to leave his home and ministry alone and to be far away. Do you understand that people believe that you have the potential to do harm.”

Tarver did not respond to the judge’s questions.

Debbie Denmon, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office said Tarver will be prosecuted for criminal trespassing if she is found to be mentally competent.

Jakes, a nationally recognized televangelist, author and filmmaker, is pastor of the 30,000-member Potter’s House in Dallas. He opened The Potter’s House of Fort Worth last year at Woodhaven Boulevard and Bridge Street, just north of Interstate 30. He lives on an estate in east Fort Worth.

On Jan. 26, Tarver was arrested for criminal trespassing when she tried to enter the Potter’s House in Dallas. She was held on a $1,000 bond before she was transferred to Fort Worth on a bench warrant.

According to Tarrant County criminal court records, Tarver was convicted of criminal trespass in 2012 and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Jakes’ lawsuit also alleges that she was sentenced to a mental institution for six months in 2012.

Court documents gave detailed descriptions of incidents in which Tarver showed up at Jakes’ home and at his churches in Fort Worth and Dallas from 2011 to 2014, including trying to hit a security guard with her car.

The court documents indicate that the harassment escalated Jan. 5, when Tarver tried to approach the altar where Jakes was preaching. Church security officers escorted her out.

Tarver also showed up at Jakes’ home four times in January.

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