Would-be victims beat religious leader

'General' of 'The Army That Sheds No Blood' accused of trying to cut two members

The Independent, Gallup NM/November 2, 2005
By Jim Maniaci

Grants -- The 60-year-old leader of an isolated religious group remained in the Cibola County jail Tuesday awaiting a $25,000 secured bond after he allegedly tried to cut two other members with a curved knife and in turn got beaten with walking sticks.

"General" James Green of Aggressive Christianity, "The Army That Sheds No Blood," was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon Saturday around 1:40 p.m. at the Shim Ra Na Holy Tribal Nation, a farm 8.5 miles northwest of the junction of New Mexico Routes 117 and 36, near Fence Lake in the southwestern part of Cibola County.

He is scheduled for a preliminary examination before Magistrate Eliseo Alcon on Nov. 8.

Deputy Sheriff George Hanna responded to a call of three men fighting and found Green using a scythe-like instrument or a sickle (curved knife) on the end of a pole. Peter Green 42, and Phillip Jordan, 55, were armed with walking sticks and Jordan had bloodied the cult leader's head.

Green was taken to the Cibola General Hospital in Grants where doctors used 40 staples to close his head wound.

According to Sgt. Harry Hall of the Sheriff's Office, the deputy drew his sidearm and ordered all three men to put down their weapons, which they did. He then put Green into the patrol unit while he talked with the men and Green's wife, "General" Deborah Green, 58.

Jordan admitted hitting Green but claimed it was self-defense. No charges were placed against him, according to Hall.

The report said Mrs. Green told the deputy Mr. Green had been away several days. He apparently went into the house to get some personal items and told those who had followed him to leave. James Green proceeded to break the glass from the front door and window. The report added Peter Green and Jordan then subdued him.

James Green allegedly remarked he wanted his wife to go for a walk with him so he could kill her and the two men. He then armed himself, the report continued, with a hatchet, the pole with the curved knife at the end and stuck a hunting knife in his boot. Jordan and Peter Green armed themselves with the walking sticks.

In addition to his scalp cuts, James Green received bruises on his lower chest, stomach, right shoulder and a split lip.

Records at the 13th Judicial District Magistrate Court in Grants showed Gary Fernandez being named as James Green's defense attorney. Magistrate Jackie Fisher, for Alcon, included in the conditions of release, if a bond is posted, that Green stay away from the victim, listed as Jordan.

The assault charge is a 3rd-degree felony which carries a penalty of up to three years in state prison and a $5,000 fine, if the defendant is convicted and given the maximum sentence.

Sgt. Hall said he has had several dealings with the Greens and they were always cooperative and peaceful. He said, "They have been nothing but outstanding. I've never had a serious problem with them in the five years I've been here."

In addition to their strong devotion to the Bible, they are vegetarians, he said. They take in many troubled people who want to change their lifestyles, the sergeant added.

They model themselves after the Salvation Army and a website photo shows the couple in uniform. He wears a red beret and green fatigues while she wears a white beret and uniform. They began their group in 1979 in California and a video shows General Deborah speaking in front of a banner proclaiming "Christ's Royal Regiment."

Larceny arrest

On Oct. 27, Samuel Strode, 18, of the Plano Colorado subdivision in the Bluewater Village area posted a $10,000 appearance bond for his preliminary examination before Magistrate Alcon on Nov. 8. He had been booked into the Cibola County Detention Center the day before on a charge of larceny between $2,500 and $20,000.

Strode was arrested after he moved many of his grandfather's tools and a pair of salvage cars down the street. The eight items total an estimated $2,250 in value.

According to Deputy Sheriff Xavier Hernandez, the grandfather, Richard Sebree, 57, of 7 Sagebrush Court, had been out of town. When he returned Oct. 20 he saw the tools and vehicles gone, but found them at his grandson's home down the street. He demanded they be returned by Oct. 22.

When they weren't returned, he contacted the Sheriff's Office. Sgt. Hall had the deputy, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff Mike Oelcher, drive by the area. They saw several of the missing item out in plain sight from the road, obtained a search warrant and confiscated eight items.

Reclaimed were a single-axle flatbed trailer worth an estimated $500, a welder and air compressor worth an estimated $400 each, an engine hoist worth an estimated $300, a Ford Festiva and a Mazda worth an estimated $250 each (used for salvage parts), a chain saw worth an estimated $100 and a timing light worth an estimated $50.

Hall also said Frieda Sebree, 51, filed a restraining order against her husband over the incident. The sergeant added that Mrs. Sebree told her grandson it would be OK to move the stuff to 12 Sagebrush Court.

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