This will be a short post. My intent is to simply update the readers on two former Baptist predator pastors that are currently in prison.
For the most complete collection of documents on the Thomas Chantry criminal cases I refer you to Cheryl Watson’s blog, Ephesians511. Watson’s blog is where I gathered much of the factual information below.
On August 21, 2018 Tom Chantry was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, not guilty of one count of aggravated assault, and not guilty of one count of molestation. The jury was hung on 4 counts of molestation.
On October 19, 2018 Chantry was sentenced to three years of supervised probation for the two counts of aggravated assault.
The State of Arizona held a second trial on the four counts of molestation that the first jury could not decide. On May 8, 2019 Tom Chantry was found guilty of the four counts of molestation. On July 19, 2019 Tom Chantry was sentenced to 24 years for each count of molestation (counts 2 to 5) to be served concurrently.
This from Cheryl Watson’s blog:
“Judge Astrowsky explained the sentencing. Tom Chantry had been found guilty on 4 counts (counts 2 to 5). Each count would receive a possible sentence of 10 to 24 years: 17 years the presumptive sentence; 10 years if the judge felt it needed to be reduced due to mitigating circumstances; 24 years if the judge felt it needed to be increased due to aggregating circumstances. Since the law was different when the offenses occurred, whether or not the sentences would be served concurrently or consecutively was up to the discretion of the judge. The sentences must be served in full (no possibility of parole). The lowest possible sentence would be 10 years (10 years for each count; sentences served concurrently). The highest possible sentence would be 96 years (24 years for each count; sentences served consecutively).”
On February 25, 2021 the Court of Appeals reversed Thomas Chantry’s convictions and sentences for four counts of child molestation and remanded the matter for a new trial because the convictions were obtained with the use of impermissible “other act” evidence. (See here for the complete ruling by the Court of Appeals Justices.)
On March 26, 2021 the State of Arizona appealed the Court of Appeals decision to the Arizona Supreme Court.
On January 4, 2022 the Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear the State’s appeal.
As it now stands Chantry remains in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections. The State of Arizona will decide whether they will hold a third trial on the four counts of molestation against Tom Chantry. If the State chooses not to retry Chantry he is a free man.
I will update you when I get further information.
William Milam was arrested in December, 2020 and charged with two counts of promoting sexual performance of a child and 25 counts of possession of child pornography.
Milam requested a trial by jury which was scheduled to begin in October 2021. At the last minute Milam decided against a trial, agreeing to a plea bargain. Milam plead guilty to 2 counts of promoting sexual performance of a child and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Milam was sentenced to 154 months in prison, or just shy of 13 years.