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Defense: Man to fight charges over church incident with gun

September 27, 2018

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — A defense lawyer says an Alabama man will fight charges that he took over a church pulpit and tried to pull a gun during a worship service.

Attorney John Totten says his 35-year-old client, Thomas Lewter of Elkmont, did not commit any crimes during an incident in July at O’Neal Church of Christ in Athens.

Totten says members are allowed to come to the front of the church to speak during services, and Lewter did so to talk about his pending divorce from his wife.

Totten says other congregation members then assaulted the man, who was legally carrying a gun. Totten says it’s unclear whether Lewter tried to pull out his handgun, but he would have a right to do so.

Lewter has been indicted on charges including attempted assault.

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