Remaining Branch Davidians go to court in Waco today seeking permission to sell property accumulated by the cult.
Mount Carmel, however, is not for sale, said attorney Gary Coker.
Coker, who represents the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association, will appear before Judge Bill Logue in Waco’s 19th State District Court.
The Seventh-day Adventist church disavows any connection to the Branch Davidians.
“Some of the property has already been sold for scrap,” Coker said. “We’re asking the judge’s permission to sell some motorcycles, cars, tractors and farm equipment. The Davidians owe for lodging. They’d like to get a place to stay and have some money for living expenses. Some of their money might go to attorneys. But, if it does, it won’t go very far, not with all the high-powered attorneys representing them.”
The request is opposed by Percy Isgitt, an attorney representing cult leader Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh., who died in the April 19 fire at Mount Carmel, and Paul Fatta, who is charged with conspiracy to murder federal officers and conspiracy to manufacture and possess unregistered machine guns.
Isgitt, of Houston, said Coker’s action is premature.
“We’re still trying to determine who the heirs are,” Isgitt said. “Until we do, it’s premature to sell things.
Fatta owns some of the property in question, Isgitt said.
“Certain of the items are titled to him, in respect to vehicles,” Isgitt said. “He may or may not be in the mood to sell them, but, first, we have to get over this hurdle.”
Coker said he’s received many offers to buy Branch Davidian property.
“They want to buy it cheap, of course,” he said. “The motorcycles seem to be popular, especially two Harleys. Everyone wants a Harley.”
Much of the property was damaged — the motorcycles, for example, had holes poked in the back tires — when turned over to the Branch Davidians, Coker said.
“I’m pretty mad,” he said. “It’s hard to load a big Harley that has a flat tire onto a trailer.”
Howell’s beloved 1968 Camaro — FBI officials mocked him when he complained about it being moved during the siege — is not for sale at the moment, Coker said. But surviving cult members contend any profits from its sale belong to the Branch Davidians.
The 77 acres of Mount Carmel — the site of the 51-day standoff between the federal government and the Branch Davidians — is not for sale either. Coker estimates the site and other property may eventually bring $150,000 to $200,000.
The property’s association with Howell could pump up that figure, though.
There might be drawbacks to owning Branch Davidian property, though. Coker noted that George Roden — a Branch Davidian who lost leadership of the cult to Howell and was sent to a state hospital after killing a man in Odessa — has filed numerous lawsuits claiming Mount Carmel.
“If you buy the land, you would not get the ghost of Vernon but you get George, too,” Coker said. “How would you like to have something that George Roden thinks is his? He may get out someday.”