30 Jan 2011

Utah Supreme Court denies rehearing of conviction reversal in polygamous sect leader's accomplice to rape case

The Salt Lake Tribune - Utah December 20, 2010

AG won’t get shot to challenge overturning of Jeffs conviction

by Lindsay Whitehurst

The Utah Supreme Court has denied an Attorney General’s Office petition for a rehearing in polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs’ accomplice to rape case, according to court documents.

Jeffs, 55, was convicted in 2007 of the charges, which relate to a marriage he conducted between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. The Supreme Court overturned his conviction in July, citing improper jury instruction.

Prosecutors had sought the rehearing for further explanation on correct jury instructions, said Paul Murphy, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

Said Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap, who filed the initial charges: “We believed that we had some good points in our petition for a rehearing, but our expectations were low because the Supreme Court rarely – if ever – grants such petitions.”

Prosecutors have not decided whether to re-try Jeffs on the accomplice to rape charges, he said.

Jeffs was extradited to Texas about three weeks ago to face sexual assault and bigamy charges there.

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