22 Jan 2011

Utah Court allows extradition of Mormon fundamentalist leader Jeffs to Texas to face child 'bride' sex abuse charges

Washington Post - Associated Press November 23, 2010

Utah high court: Polygamist leader can go to Texas


SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday it won't block polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs' extradition to Texas for trial on bigamy and sexual assault charges.

The court denied Jeffs' appeal and lifted a stay a lower court had imposed last week keeping him in Utah.

Jeffs, 54, is the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Southern Utah-based church practices polygamy in arranged marriages that have involved underage girls.

In court papers, defense attorneys argued that sending Jeffs to Texas before a long-running criminal case in Utah is resolved denies him the right to a speedy trial.

Jeffs' lawyers also objected to the conditions of an extradition agreement signed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Texas Gov. Rick Perry that would deny Jeffs bail in Texas.

The Utah attorney general's office contended that Jeffs had no legal grounds to argue against extradition. In a response filed with the appeals court, the state prosecutors said extradition is a "power explicitly granted to the executive branch" and can't be decided by a judge.

Prosecutors also said the question of bail is moot because the laws that govern extradition agreements permit judges in the "demanding state" - in this case Texas - to set or deny bail.

Texas authorities have charged Jeffs with felony bigamy, aggravated sexual assault and assault for alleged spiritual marriages of underage girls at a church ranch near Eldorado. The charges stem from evidence gathered during a raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April 2008.

Jeffs remains at the Utah State Prison, more than four years after his arrest, prosecution and conviction on two charges of rape as an accomplice for his role in the 2001 marriage of an underage follower - then 14 - to her 19-year-old cousin.

In July, the Utah Supreme overturned the 2007 convictions and sent the case back to the 5th District Court in St. George, although prosecutors have yet to decide whether they'll retry Jeffs. A rehearing of the case before the Utah Supreme Court is pending.

Defense attorneys argued that sending him to Texas could delay the resolution of the Utah case for years.

Prosecutors say Jeffs' right to a speedy trial isn't an argument against extradition.

This article was found at:



Reuters - November 24, 2010

Warren Jeffs lawyer: court ruling will end Utah case

By James Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah Supreme Court ruling allowing the extradition of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs to Texas, where he faces bigamy and sexual assault charges, should effectively end the case against him in Utah, his defense lawyer said on Wednesday.

Wally Budgen said that by refusing to block Jeffs' extradition, the state's high court had denied the imprisoned leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints his right to a speedy trial in Utah.

"We think as a practical matter the state's ability to go forward with the prosecution of Mr. Jeffs is dead," Budgen told Reuters in an interview.

"By sending him to Texas without finishing what they started, they've deprived him of his right to a speedy trial," he said. "And as a matter of Constitutional law, when he is returned to Utah we'll file a motion to dismiss and that motion will be granted."

In a terse, two-line ruling issued on Tuesday, the Utah Supreme Court rejected an emergency petition by Jeffs, dismissing the appeal and lifting a stay on the extradition imposed by a lower court.

In September 2007, a jury in St. George, Utah, found Jeffs guilty of being an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin, for which he was later sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.

But the Utah Supreme Court overturned that conviction on July 27, 2010, ordering a new trial because the lower court judge gave faulty instructions to the jury.

In Texas, Jeffs, 54, faces a number of criminal charges including bigamy and sexual assault.

He was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for four months before he was captured in a routine traffic stop outside of Las Vegas in August 2006.

Jeffs is considered the prophet and leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect.

Experts estimate the FLDS sect has 10,000 followers in Utah, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and British Columbia.

This article was found at:



Utah Court of Appeals suspends extradition of Mormon fundamentalist leader to Texas while it considers legal issues

Mormon polygamist cult leader's lawyer says Utah and Texas conspiring through extradition to deny his constitutional rights

Mormon polygamist sect leader still fighting extradition to Texas where prosecutors have more evidence against him

Utah sending Mormon polygamist leader to Texas to face bigamy, child sex assault charges 

Jon Krakauer's reaction to court's reversal of Mormon polygamist's rape convictions

Utah Supreme Court decides to not protect FLDS girls from forced marriage, overturns Warren Jeffs' accomplice to rape convictions

Child 'bride' key witness against Warren Jeffs stunned by court's reversal of rape convictions, fears for safety of FLDS children

Mormon polygamist leader jailed in Utah refuses to sign warrant extraditing him to Texas to face child sex charges

Extradition process started to bring jailed Mormon polygamist leader to Texas for trial after Arizona drops cases against him

First legal finding that bigamy occurred at Mormon fundamentalist compound sees two more polygamists sent to prison

Warren Jeffs' FLDS Church and What I Left Behind

Jeffs's wedding pictures disgust

Texas seeks custody of teen Jeffs allegedly wed

Jeffs' role: Coercion, devotion?

Jurors: Girl’s age was crucial to decision in Warren Jeffs trial

About time, ex-Bountiful member says about Warren Jeffs conviction

Jeffs verdict irrelevant to followers, polygamist community

Sect papers reveal Jeffs total control of followers, even from jail

Religious Beliefs Should Not Protect Polygamist Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs Still Dominant Force Even After Conviction

Polygamist leader Jeffs still a force from jail

JEFFS BOMBSHELL: Says he was "immoral" with sister, daughter in jailhouse tapes

Listening to the Lord: Jeffs exerted 24-7 control over FLDS faithful

When Men Become Gods: Mormon Polygamist Warren Jeffs, His Cult of Fear, and the Women Who Fought Back

New Book on Warren Jeffs' Polygamy Sect Provides Insight into Lives of Women Enslaved by Fundamentalist Group

Texas polygamist trial set to start, advocate says women nothing but pimps giving their daughters to perverts

Texas doctor protesting conviction of FLDS polygamist for sexual assault says law should allow sex with minors

Hate mail from Mormon polygamists doesn't faze Texas lawmaker who crafted laws to protect girls from religious abuse

No comments:

Post a Comment