A federal judge Thursday released another Branch Davidian to a halfway house, while a cult member still in jail got rid of his attorney.
U.S. Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. ordered Oliver Gyarfas Jr., 19, released to the Salvation Army halfway house in Waco. He also ordered Gyarfas to post a $25,000 bond.
A Waco hotel owner already has agreed to put up the bond.
Gyarfas’ stay at the halfway house could be brief. An Immigration and Naturalization Service official told Smith on Wednesday that his agency might institute deportation procedures against the Australian.
Federal officials are holding Gyarfas as a material witness in the criminal cases against Branch Davidians Kathryn Schroeder, Brad Branch, Kevin Whitecliff, Clive Doyle and Jaime Castillo, who are charged with conspiracy to murder federal agents.
Gyarfas’ pregnant sister, Aisha, and her 1-year-old daughter, Startle, died in the April 19 fire that destroyed Mount Carmel.
An FBI spokesman said during the siege that Aisha, 17, told negotiators that cult leader Vernon Howell, who also died in the fire, was the father of her children.
In other action, Smith approved the request of Renos Avraam, 29, to represent himself. Attorney Dick Kettler had represented the former London businessman. But Kettler filed a motion stating that he and Avraam had a “serious and irreconcilable conflict of interest.”
Branch Davidian Paul Fatta, 35, Thursday waived his appearance at an arraignment following his indictment on two charges. He was indicted on charges of conspiracy to manufacture and possess unregulated machine guns and aiding and abetting in the possession of machine guns.