5 Dec 2010

FBI arrests fugitive Mormon fundamentalist wanted for murders ordered by her violent cult leader father

Fox News - Utah May 13, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: FBI arrests fugitive daughter of polygamist Ervil LeBaron

Ben Winslow | Fox 13 News



SALT LAKE CITY - The FBI has arrested the fugitive daughter of polygamist Ervil LeBaron, bringing what ex-members of the fundamentalist church hope is an end to several decades of bloodshed. Jacqueline LeBaron was arrested in Honduras and flown to Houston on Thursday, FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap told Fox 13. LeBaron is believed to have been hiding in Latin America for years.

The arrest was made by Interpol, with the help of the consulate in Honduras, Dunlap said. She will make her initial appearance before a federal judge in Houston on Friday.

LeBaron is wanted by the FBI for a series of murders in the 1980s, carried out based on the "Book of the New Covenant." It was scriptures that her father wrote while in the Utah State Prison, where he was serving time for murder. However, federal authorities called it a "hit list."

Ervil LeBaron died in the Utah State Prison in 1981. But in the years following his death, more than two dozen mysterious deaths occurred that ex-members of his Church of the Lamb of God believe are linked to the book, which was smuggled out of the prison.

"I've tried a lot of homicide cases, but this is the first time where I've seen a book where it outlined who was to be killed and why they are to be killed," assistant U.S. Attorney for Houston Terry Clark told Fox 13 in November 2009. "And it's not just talk. Many of these people have, in fact, been murdered by the LeBarons."

To this day, some people still live in hiding because they are on the hit list, Fox 13 News has learned. Some of Jacqueline's siblings were all convicted -- but she remained on the run. She was believed to be hiding out in Latin America after a series of slayings in Texas dubbed the "Four O'Clock murders," because they were all carried out simultaneously at 4 p.m.

Fox 13 reported on the fear of Ervil LeBaron's "Book of the New Covenant" in a series report last year.

"At what point do you think it stops, that people can stop looking over their shoulder and that you don't have that in the back of your mind?" Fox 13's Ben Winslow asked Irene Spencer, a former LeBaron church member, in November 2009.

"Probably when I'm dead," Spencer replied.

Spencer was married to Ervil's brother, Verlan, and was on LeBaron's hit list. Reached at the family's community of Colonia LeBaron in the Chihuahua state of Mexico late Thursday, she was overjoyed by the news.

"Hallelujah!" she exclaimed. "I am absolutely thrilled! Very, very thrilled!"

Spencer said many people who still feared that someone would pick up Ervil LeBaron's mantle, ordering death to his enemies, will be relieved. Spencer said that in Colonia LeBaron, family members of the fundamentalist Mormon community were more concerned about drug cartel violence in the region than the radical preachings of a dead polygamist.

"I basically think it's going to settle down. I myself feel a lot calmer and at peace just knowing that she is apprehended," she said.


This article was found at:

http://www.fox13now.com/news/kstu-jacqueline-lebaron-arrested,0,3508281.story

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Google News - Associated Press May 14, 2010

Woman faces charges in Texas polygamist deaths


HOUSTON — FBI agents in Honduras arrested the fugitive daughter of a polygamist sect leader wanted in a 1988 quadruple slaying and extradited her to Houston to face murder and conspiracy charges, the agency said Friday.

FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap said a tip led to the capture of Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron on Thursday. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Interpol and the U.S. consulate in Honduras helped to track LeBaron down in the city of Moroceli, the FBI said in a statement.

LeBaron, wanted since 1992, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Malloy Friday. The judge ruled that LeBaron would remain in federal custody and ordered a hearing for next Wednesday to determine whether her detention will continue pending trial, said Angela Dodge, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Houston.

LeBaron told the court she is a Mexican citizen and complained that she was denied due process when she was removed from Honduras, Dodge said.

Dodge said LeBaron did not have an attorney and that she would receive one through a court appointment.

LeBaron has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder; murder; conspiracy to tamper with a witness; tampering with a witness; use of a firearm during a crime of violence; conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs; obstruction of religious beliefs; and racketeering conspiracy, according to the FBI website.

LeBaron, 44, is accused in the shooting deaths of three former sect members and the 8-year-old daughter of one of the adults in Houston and Irving in 1988.

LeBaron's father, Ervil LeBaron, was the leader of the Church of the Lamb of God. Investigators say the elder LeBaron ordered the executions of rival polygamists in the 1970s. In 1972 he was convicted in Utah of ordering family members to kill his brother, who was said to have disobeyed church laws.

Ervil LeBaron, who reportedly ordered the killing of disobedient church members, died in the Utah state prison in 1981.

Jacqueline LeBaron was among six family members charged in the June 1988 murders.

Three were convicted in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. Another was convicted of ordering the deaths and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The youngest, who was 16 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty to the child's death and served five years in prison.

The victims were brothers Mark and Duane Chynoweth, killed in Houston, and Ed Marston, slain in Irving. Duane Chynoweth's daughter, Jenny, was also killed in what investigators believe was an effort to eliminate her as a witness.


This article was found at:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jF0hv1HRQN8BMA5Aj1ChAxVXjoSAD9FMP35G3

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Washington Post - Associated Press May 19, 2010

Suspect in Texas sect slayings pleads not guilty

By JUAN A. LOZANO | The Associated Press


HOUSTON -- A polygamist sect leader's daughter who was a fugitive for nearly 20 years pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges alleging that she helped orchestrate the shotgun killings of three former sect members and an 8-year-old girl.

Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron entered her plea during a brief arraignment hearing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson ordered her to be held without bond pending her trial after LeBaron waived her right to a detention hearing.

LeBaron's trial was scheduled for June 28 but will likely be delayed. Her attorney, David Adler, said it would be unusual for anybody to be prepared that quickly for trial, especially given how much time has passed since she was first charged.

"These are very serious allegations. We're interested in what the evidence is against her," Adler said after the hearing.

Prosecutor Terry Clark declined to comment on the case.

LeBaron, 44, was captured in Honduras last week and extradited to the U.S. after the FBI received a tip about her whereabouts.

She is accused of helping orchestrate the 1988 shooting deaths of three former sect members and the 8-year-old daughter of one of them in Houston and suburban Dallas.

LeBaron is the daughter of Utah polygamist Ervil LeBaron, who died in 1981 in Utah state prison, where he was serving a life sentence for masterminding the 1977 murder of Rulon Allred, the leader of another polygamist group.

Ervil LeBaron was the leader of the Church of the Lamb of God, based on distorted early Mormon teachings and disavowed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon church.

Jacqueline LeBaron was among six family members charged with the June 1988 slayings of three men who chose to leave the sect and the daughter of one victim. Each was shot in the head with a shotgun.

Ed Marston, brothers Mark and Duane Chynoweth and Duane Chynoweth's daughter, Jenny, were fatally shot minutes apart at two sites in Houston and one in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Authorities said the girl was killed because she witnessed her father's death.

Prosecutors said LeBaron and her half-brother directed the killings after receiving what they described as a "sign from God."

Three LeBaron family members were convicted on charges including civil rights violations and witness tampering in 1993 and sentenced to life in prison. Another was convicted four years later of ordering the deaths and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The youngest, who was 16 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in the child's death and served five years in prison.

Jacqueline LeBaron has been charged with 14 counts, including conspiracy to commit murder; murder; obstruction of religious beliefs; and racketeering conspiracy.

Authorities say Ervil LeBaron taught a doctrine of blood atonement, in which defectors of his sect were assassinated.


This article was found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051902505_pf.html


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3 comments:

  1. Polygamist sect leader’s daughter sentenced to 3 years in prison after plea deal

    The Republic, September 8, 2011

    HOUSTON (AP) — A polygamist sect leader's daughter was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge relating to the shotgun killings in Texas of an 8-year-old girl and three sect members who had left the church, U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno said Thursday.

    Jacqueline LeBaron, the daughter of Utah polygamist Ervil LeBaron, was originally indicted in 1992 but was a fugitive for almost 20 years before being arrested last year in Honduras. She had faced 14 counts, including murder, and could have faced life in prison.

    But she pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs as part of an agreement with prosecutors. LeBaron, 46, faced up to five years in prison but received a lesser sentence from U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake, Moreno said in a news release.

    Before entering her plea in June, she expressed remorse, telling Lake: "I'm very sorry this happened."

    Jacqueline LeBaron was among six family members charged in the killings. Authorities say she and her family were following their sect's doctrine of blood atonement, in which defectors were killed. The U.S. attorney's office has said that Jacqueline LeBaron assisted her siblings in the plot by giving them travel money.

    Moreno said LeBaron had admitted that in May 1988 that she followed the instructions of her brother and gave her sister $500, telling her to go to Houston and prepare for the murders of the "Sons of Perdition."

    Ervil LeBaron had created the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God in the 1970s. He taught that anyone who left the church would be called the "Sons of Perdition" and should be killed, Moreno said.

    Former sect members Duane Chynoweth, Mark Chynoweth and Ed Marston had left the church after Ervil LeBaron was convicted in Utah for murder. While in prison, Evril LeBaron drew up a document stating that the three had become "Sons of Perdition" and ordered his remaining followers — mostly his wives and children — to kill them. Ervil LeBaron died in prison in 1981, but his orders were preached after his death.

    In June 1988 in Houston, Mark Chynoweth was fatally shot three times by one of Jacqueline LeBaron's brothers. At another location in the city, two other siblings shot and killed Duane Chynoweth and his 8-year-old daughter Jenny. Authorities said the girl was killed because she witnessed her father's death.

    At about the same time, Marston was shot at an appliance business in the Dallas suburb of Irving. He died of his injuries about four hours later. All the victims were shot in the head.

    Jacqueline LeBaron is the last defendant to be convicted in this case. She was also ordered by the judge to pay $134,000 in restitution to the victims.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/8946c231899f4d0ba49335b456571cd3/TX--Polygamist-Slayings/

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  2. Inside 'The Order,' One Mormon Cult's Secret Empire

    Rolling Stone June 23, 2011

    excerpts:

    The clan, known privately as the Order, runs what prosecutors believe is one of the largest organized-crime operations in Utah, overseeing its far-flung empire from a string of secret locations and backrooms. On the surface, the operation is legit: From Salt Lake, the Order controls some 100 businesses spread out over the Western states, from a casino in California to a cattle ranch in Nevada to a factory that makes lifelike dolls in Utah. Over 75 years, the Kingstons have amassed a fortune worth an estimated $300 million, but the operation skirts the edges of the law. According to people who have left the Order, the cult exploits its 2,000 members as virtual slave labor and hides profits from tax collectors. Children born into the clan make up much of the labor force. Girls, many of them teen brides, answer phones at the Order's law office, bag groceries at its supermarket or tend to the clan's many children. Boys work its coal mine and stack boxes at Standard Restaurant Supply, a massive discount store. They are paid not in cash but in scrip, an arcane form of credit used by the Mormon pioneers that can only be redeemed at company stores. "If the Order doesn't have it," the clan teaches, "we don't need it."
    ...
    As big as the heist was, it attracted almost no attention in Salt Lake. The Kingstons operate in a self-contained universe, completely cut off from the outside world. "When you're three years old, they start training you what to say if people talk to you," recalls Jeremy Tucker, a 32-year-old former member of the cult, who now works in construction. "We were taught to be polite, but to never make friends with outsiders." The clan avoids hospitals, believing government-backed doctors might inject them with a mysterious disease or demand birth records exposing the Order's lifestyle. They steer clear of banks, fearing they'll steal their money. And they avoid the police, opting to handle any disputes in their own brutal manner. One of the Order's leaders did jail time for severely beating his own daughter after she fled an arranged marriage to his brother. Boys are taught that the prophet demands absolute loyalty and that they should be prepared to defend the clan. Over the years, the Order has armed itself to ward off rivals, and once stalked and intimidated a judge who was meddling in the clan's affairs. (Paul Kingston and other leaders of the family ignored repeated requests for comment for this story.)

    "I could boil down what they're about in three words," says a member who broke with the Order. "Money, sex and power. They'll do what they need to do to defend what's theirs."
    ...
    Kingston taught his followers that they are the literal descendants of Jesus and one of his wives, who had come down to Earth to found a race of chosen people. He also preached a bizarre extrapolation of the Book of Mormon called the White Horse Prophecy, a dreaded prediction of a cataclysmic time when the "black race" will rise up and attempt to destroy the white man, only to be thwarted by Native Americans riding to the rescue. Those in the Order, Kingston preached, are responsible for building a master race, which is why all marriages are arranged within the original four families that started the cult.
    ...

    read the full article at:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/inside-the-order-one-mormon-cults-secret-empire-20110615

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  3. Polygamist sect leader Ervil LeBaron's daughter pleads guilty to federal charge in Salt Lake

    By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News November 14, 2011

    SALT LAKE CITY — The daughter of a polygamist sect leader involved in the murder of four people in Texas pleaded guilty to a contempt charge in federal court in Salt Lake City in connection with the 1988 killings.

    Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron, who was on the lam for more than 18 years, fled a Salt Lake treatment center in 1991 where she was being held on a material witness warrant in a grand jury investigation. Also known as Melonie Martin, she entered a guilty plea Thursday in U.S. District Court to one misdemeanor count of contempt. Magistrate Judge David Nuffer gave her credit for time served and no additional time to her current federal sentence related to the slayings.

    Her plea in Salt Lake City resolved the final outstanding legal issue in the LeBaron family's long-running saga.

    LeBaron's father, Ervil LeBaron, was the leader of the Church of the Lamb of God. Investigators say the elder LeBaron ordered the executions of rival polygamists in the 1970s. In 1972, he was convicted in Utah of ordering family members to kill his brother, who was said to have disobeyed church laws.

    Ervil LeBaron, who reportedly ordered the killing of disobedient church members, died in the Utah State Prison in 1981.

    Jacqueline LeBaron, 46, was among six family members charged in the June 1988 shotgun killings of brothers Mark and Duane Chynoweth in Houston, and Ed Marston in Irving. Duane Chynoweth's daughter, Jenny, was also killed in what investigators believe was an effort to eliminate her as a witness.

    Jacqueline LeBaron was indicted in connection with the murders in 1992. Federal agents arrested her in Honduras in May 2010 and returned her to Texas. She pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this year to conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs and was sentenced to three years in prison.

    Three LeBaron family members were convicted of murder in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. Another was convicted of ordering the deaths and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The youngest, who was 16 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty to the child's death and served five years in prison.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705394286/Polygamist-sect-leader-Ervil-LeBarons-daughter-pleads-guilty-to-federal-charge-in-Salt-Lake.html

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