In 1978 Man Arrested In Waco For Praying For People
From The Waco Paper Sunday
July 2, 1978
Tears, Applause Greet Acquittal of ‘Don Jose;
Tears of joy, shouts of excitement and applause greeted the not
guilty-verdict handed down Saturday by a county court-at-law jury in
the trial of a Hallsburg man on charges of unlawfully practicing
Jose Arias, 68, was found innocent in a unique Saturday court session.
Courthouse observers said this was the first trial on a Saturday in
the county court. Judge Jim Barlow called the session to facilitate
next week’s court docket.
More than friends of Arias crammed into the courtroom to hear the
verdict Saturday afternoon.
Several were seen apparently praying prior to the verdict. The room
grew quiet with expectation.
When Judge Barlow made the announcement, most members of the crowd
shouted and applauded. Many were seen with tears in their eyes.
As the jury was dismissed and was leaving the room. the crowd,
including Arias stood and applauded them.
The entire group rushed toward Arias known as “Don Jose” and Dick
Clark defense attorney. They were hugged and kissed by most.
It took the jury of four men and two women almost four hours to reach
the decision in the misdemeanor case.
Assistant District Attorney Guy Cox said the state has another similar
case pending against Arias and he predicted action on the case would
During closing arguments, Clark described Arias as “a man of God. who
ministers to the sick and suffering by prayer”.
The fate and faith of all these people (the crowd in the courtroom)
are in your hands.” He said
he criticized the state’s key witness , and investigator with the
Texas State board of Medical Examiners, for deceiving people by
claiming to be sick.”
Assistant District Attorney John Segrest told the jury the “state does
not have to prove Don Jose is an evil man or that he has injured anybody.”
Cox called Arias “a con artist.”
He is preying on the ignorance of the people of Hallsburg and the
surrounding area. He plots and schemes to take advantage of the people.”
Arias was charged with “diagnosing, treating and offering to treat
disorders” of an undercover agent on April 19. A dozen friends of
Arias testified he only prays for and helps sick people increase their
faith in God.