exposing the dark side of adoption
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The Commercial Appeal

Author: The Associated Press

The brother of Rev. Joseph Combs, who with his wife was convicted of enslaving a girl they kidnapped from an orphanage, has turned himself in on charges of aggravated perjury.

Timothy Combs, of Charlotte, N.C., was blocked from testifying at the trial when the judge determined he broke a rule and lied about barring witnesses from the courtroom before they testified.

Combs gained access to the courtroom by saying he was looking for his nieces and nephews and then stood in the back as the girl, then known as Esther Combs, testified, according to the indictment. He later lied when he said he was not in the courtroom for the girl's testimony.

Combs went to the sheriff's office Friday with his attorney in a prearranged agreement and was released on bond. If convicted, he could face two to four years in prison on each of two counts.

Rev. Joseph and Evangeline Combs both were convicted in March of especially aggravated kidnapping and other charges. Combs, the former pastor of the defunct Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bristol, was convicted of aggravated assault, aggravated perjury, seven counts of rape and one count of aggravated rape.

He was sentenced to 114 years in prison, and his wife to 65 years.

The girl, who has publicly spoken about the abuse, is now 22 and has changed her name. She still lives in Bristol.

2000 Aug 14