served time and turned his
life around, but now he
In July 2001, Motley
, then 35, was arrested in Martinsville when police found him listed as a fugitive from justice on a national crime information network.
Texas asserted that Motley
had never served a sentence imposed there in 1990, when he
was found to have violated his
parole for a series of nonviolent offenses, including burglary, committed in the late 1980s. But when Texas authorities failed to produce a warrant for Motley after a month, a Martinsville judge declared the extradition request expired and Motley went back to his post-prison life as pastor of Grace Chapel Ministries in Bassett and sales manager for a Ford dealership.
'd always known it was possible that Texas record could come back to haunt him, Motley
wasn't expecting it two weeks ago when his
name resurfaced after he received a warning for exceeding the speed limit in Salem.
A routine computer check found the extradition request still on file, and he
was arrested again.
Texas officials insist they really do want him this time, but that they won't be coming to get him unless he's
being held in jail - something a magistrate refused to do, but which the Salem commonwealth's attorney will request next we
"I was a bad guy," Motley
freely admitted to the magistrate, "but I've lived a changed life the last 10 years." Motley
doesn't deny the youthful cross-country crime spree he
engaged in shortly after his
graduation from high school.He
was convicted of such nonviolent offenses as burglary, forgery and fencing stolen goods in Virginia, Texas and California.
But when the magistrate heard the story of the Martinsville man's reformation and his
life after prison, he
on a personal recognizance bond - an apparent rarity for someone wanted as a fugitive."That was nothing but the mercy of God," Motley
life to God after he
was incarcerated in California's infamous San Quentin prison as a 22-year-old in 1987. Motley became an assistant to the chaplain and formed a choir that eventually created a top-40 gospel CD produced by a drummer for the Grateful Dead.
In 1990, while he
was in San Quentin, Motley
was returned to Texas to face violation of parole charges.He
says the judge who imposed the 35-year sentence told him it would run concurrently with his
California time - and that with good behavior he
would only have to serve one month for each year.By Motley's calculation, that amounted to time served.
In 1993, Motley
was paroled from the California prison and sent to Virginia - after, he
contends, Texas said it didn't want him. Motley
served time here, completing a work-release program in Richmond where he
lost three fingers of his
left hand in a job-training accident. He continued to take college courses in religion and was named pastor of Grace Chapel Ministries in Bassett, which had been founded by his mother.He also became sales manager for Martinsville Ford.
is wanted by a legitimate authority in another state, Day said.
word was sufficient surety," Berry said.
, the possibility of returning to Texas in shackles seems almost unbearable.
Shortly after the Salem magistrate released him, Motley
wife and their daughter "just sat in the parking lot for maybe 45 minutes.Very emotional.
"'Why?' I wondered.The Lord must have something in mind for me" out of this experience, Motley
said, perhaps "adding to my testimony."
"It's not where you've been that matters, it's where you're going."
Motley's past Before Mandell Motley became a pastor and a car sales manager he had a history of legal troubles.
2001: Martinsville police discover that Motley
is listed as a fugitive wanted by Texas on national crime register.When no one from Texas claims him after 30 days, the extradition claim expires. 2005: After receiving a warning for speeding in Salem, where he now works for Friendly Lincoln Mercury, Motley's name again comes up on the crime registry as a fugitive wanted by Texas.