From the NY Post, Wed May 12, page 11: TUG-OF-WAR OVER WACO CULT'S LAND Waco, Texas (AP) -
From the NY Post, Wed May 12, page 11:
TUG-OF-WAR OVER WACO CULT'S LAND
Waco, Texas (AP) - The Branch Davidian's grassy 77-acre spread is home
to fire ants, large-mouth bass and maybe even oil.
The question is: who will get the property?
Members of the tax-delinquent cult say they'll fight to keep the charred
tract where David Koresh and 77 disciples were killed by fire and bullets
April 19. The survivors, some of them in jail and others staying in halfway
houses or with relatives, say the land is theirs to redevelop if they so
But McLennan County records show the Davidians owe $3,351.72 in 1991 and 1992
The county could seize and sell the property.
[***]And the federal government apparently has a claim, too, under forfeiture
laws that let officials seize and sell property where a felony has been
committed. Authorities suspected child abuse and illegal gun possession
inside the commune. [****]
"We may have competing claims by state authorities and federal authorities
here," said Texas Tech University law Prof. Charles Bubany. "My guess is,
the government's going to get it, eventually."
Advocates for the Branch Davidians disagree.
"It's going to be a long battle, but [the Davidians] will wind up with it
one way or the other," said John Coale, an attorney for Stan Sylvia, of
La Verne, Calif., who lost his wife and two daughters in the inferno.
Sylvia said the survivors should regroup and build a school at the site.
"Why should the FBI, of all people, be awarded that land, with what they
did to my people, to my wife and children?" Sylvia asked. "Their lives
were lost on that land, and I don't want to see that done in vain."
Coale said oil may lie under the property, and he plans to test for it.
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