WICHITA — Longtime Wichita pastor Gene Williams testified this afternoon in the securities fraud trial of Thomas Etheredge, and his book, "Real Men, Real Faith," again became a central topic.
Etheredge had a chapter in the book, which was compiled by Williams.
Under questioning by the prosecution and defense, Williams said that the phrase "Midas touch" in Etheredge's chapter originated with his editing. The phrase was used to describe how Etheredge fared as a young business person.
In the draft he wrote, Etheredge had said "most" of his business ventures through those early years made money. Williams edited the draft to read "as if" Etheredge "had the Midas touch." The publisher further revised it to say, "I had the Midas touch," according to Williams' testimony.
But Williams also said that all those who wrote chapters in the book had to review the final drafts.
Earlier in the day, Rob Dillard, a Wichita physician and one of the investors in Etheredge's Wild West World, said, "I feel lied to," in discussing what he now knows about Etheredge's background. That included Etheredge's failure to pay 2005 federal and state income taxes, previous business failures and past felony convictions.
Dillard and his wife, Angel, gave Etheredge $300,000 for the theme park.
The trial resumed this morning with more testimony from Etheredge's ex-wife, Debbie Taylor.
Taylor was also the last witness on the stand Friday before the trial took its weekend recess.
Etheredge is charged with nine counts of securities fraud after investors lost money in the failed Wild West World, which remained open only two months in 2007 before closing and filing bankruptcy in July 2007.