2 Apr 2011

More evidence submitted against Mormon polygamist leader for sex assault of pre-teen child brides, trial dates set

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah March 30, 2011

New allegations surface of FLDS underage marriages

BY LINDSAY WHITEHURST  |  The Salt Lake Tribune

A list of additional bad acts prosecutors may use against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs was entered in a Texas court under seal Wednesday, along with the witness list for Jeffs’ sexual assault and bigamy trial, according to the Standard-Times of San Angelo.

Meanwhile, Canadian court documents filed earlier this month revealed new allegations of additional underage marriages within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including four to Jeffs.

A total of at least 14 pre-teen and teenage girls were taken from an FLDS settlement in British Columbia to be married in the U.S. between 2003 and 2006, according to evidence seized by Texas authorities and presented this week in a case weighing whether the Canadian law banning polygamy is unconstitutional. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has previously said they are investigating.

Eleven of those girls were married to men within the sect, including two to James Oler, then the bishop of the settlement known as Bountiful, according to the affidavit written by Texas Ranger J. Nick Hanna. The document also alleges four marriages of underage girls to Jeffs: two 12-year-old Canadian girls, one 13-year-old Canadian girl, and a 14-year-old apparently American girl. It details a shroud of secrecy Jeffs, 55, allegedly ordered around two of his 12-year-old brides as their fathers drove them down from Canada to his home in Texas in 2005.

One father was told to keep the marriage quiet, even from his family, according to the affidavit. Another was told to destroy two prepaid cell phones as he crossed the U.S. border. The girls were allegedly transported in a trailer equipped with a bathroom so they would not have to use public bathrooms.

These marriages do not appear to be the same alleged marriages — one to a 12-year-old, another to a girl under 17 — connected to bigamy and sexual assault charges against Jeffs in Texas. Jeffs is estimated to have at least 80 wives.

The evidence, however, comes from the same place — hundreds of boxes of documents, including Jeffs’ dictations, marriage and birth records, that were seized during a massive raid on the FLDS’ Yearning for Zion Ranch in April 2008.

Jeffs is now in jail awaiting trial in Texas. In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, his final pretrial court hearing was pushed back to June 16, the Standard-Times reported. Jeffs’ trial is now scheduled for July 25 on two of the charges; the second trial is scheduled for Oct. 3.

This article was found at:


San Angelo Standard-Times   -  Texas    March 30, 2011

Witness list to be sealed until Jeffs trial begins

Judge seals witness list for Jeffs case

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Warren Jeffs stumbled forward in the courtroom in chains, wearing a gray sweater and an orange jumpsuit. Two followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stood as he entered the courtroom.

Jeffs, leader of the polygamist sect, was in 51st District Court on Wednesday morning for the sixth pretrial hearing held for him since his extradition to Texas in November 2010.

At Wednesday's hearing, which lasted less than 30 minutes, the court set dates for the final pretrial, deadlines for submitting motions, and it sustained the trial dates of July 25 for the count of sexual assault of a child and Oct. 3 for felony bigamy.

Jeffs' attorney, Jeff Kearney of Fort Worth, asked for more time to prepare his client's defense.

"The discovery is voluminous," Kearney said, referring to the documentation and other material waiting to be examined before trial.

Kearney said he has four felony trials between now and May and wouldn't have any time between them to work on Jeffs' case.

He asked that the final pretrial be rescheduled from late May to June 16, and 51st District Court Judge Barbara Walther agreed.

All motions are to be submitted June 1, except for a motion to suppress evidence, which Walther said could be filed on July 1.

Eric Nichols, the lead prosecutor on the case, gave the defense the option of having the witness list for the case and the list of extraneous offenses sealed from the public.

"The state is prepared to make more disclosure," Nichols said.

Kearney accepted the offer, and both documents have been sealed to the public. Previous trials have allowed for witness lists and extraneous offenses to be filed without being sealed.

"These items can be sealed in certain circumstances," 51st District Attorney Stephen Lupton said. "They are not always sealed, but the law does allow for the sealing."

Walther also allowed for a suppression hearing to be held after the jury is selected.

That hearing would determine what evidence the attorneys are allowed to bring before the jury.

"The court wants us to select a jury without a ruling on what evidence will be allowed?" Kearney asked.

Walther said it has been done that way before and it no evidence would be admitted while selecting a jury anyway.

She said she wanted to hold the suppression hearing after jury selection so as to minimize the effect of pretrial publicity.

Jeffs has been in jail in Reagan County since he came to Texas at the end of November 2010. He will be the eighth of 12 men to be prosecuted as a result of evidence collected on a raid at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County.

The raid was based on a call received from a woman claiming to have suffered abuse at the ranch. Defense attorneys in previous cases of FLDS members have argued to the jury that the call was a hoax, and the prosecution and law enforcement has not countered that idea.

While in jail, Jeffs has reasserted himself as the president of the FLDS corporation, even as another church elder is in the process of claiming to be the sole head of the corporation, and Jeffs has reportedly excommunicated members of the church while in confinement.

This article was found at:


Salt Lake Tribune  -  Utah    March 31, 2011

FLDS leaders move to keep Warren Jeffs as president

BY LINDSAY WHITEHURST  |  The Salt Lake Tribune

A fight for control of a polygamous sect intensified Thursday as leaders filed documents to keep jailed leader Warren Jeffs in charge of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Boyd L. Knudson, the registered agent of the church’s Corporation of the President, sought to cancel out papers filed Monday seeking to replace Jeffs with church elder William E. Jessop as president and presiding bishop.

Jessop "has filed false documents ... [he] has never been upheld by the church congregation as president," Knudson wrote in Thursday’s filing. "Common consent is required by the church."

The filing includes affidavits from four church leaders who said they were part of a February congregation of about 4,000 people who stood and "raise[d] their arms and voices unanimously sustaining President Warren Steed Jeffs as standing in the highest quorum of the church as its president."

Lyle S. Jeffs, bishop of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah; church patriarch Vaughan E. Taylor; and counselors in the bishopric John M. Barlow and Ray M. Barlow signed the affidavits.

Jessop, 41, is a former bishop of Colorado City and Hildale. In January 2007, Jeffs named him as the sect’s "true prophet" in taped conversations from a jail cell, but later recanted.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Jessop said his filing was an attempt to "preserve" the church, and the fulfillment of an earlier directive from Jeffs.

Neither filing, however, was signed by Jeffs, who is in jail awaiting trial on sexual assault and bigamy charges in Texas. It was unclear whether he was aware of either.

The state will now place a hold on Jessop’s documents and give the two parties 15 to 30 days to resolve the dispute, Utah Department of Commerce spokeswoman Jennifer Bolton said earlier this week.

Jessop will have to prove he was in the right, and if he can’t, the case will go to court. If he fails to prove his claim there, control of the church would revert back to the 55-year-old Jeffs.

While imprisoned in Utah, Jeffs ceded control of the corporation to counselor Wendell Nielsen last year, but reclaimed it just over a month ago. Jeffs is said to have excommunicated about 30 men from the church in recent months, including Nielsen and other top leaders.

This article was found at:


The Salt Lake Tribune - Utah April 5, 2011

Affidavit: FLDS congregation supports Jeffs as leader

BY LINDSAY WHITEHURST  |  The Salt Lake Tribune

A polygamous sect member loyal to Warren Jeffs has filed additional paperwork claiming the congregation’s support for the jailed leader in a church power struggle.

Boyd L. Knudson filed an affidavit Monday claiming that he saw an assembly of about 4,000 people “unanimously stand and raise their hands and voices in favor of sustaining Warren Steed Jeffs as president” as recently as Sunday. Knudson is the registered agent of the Corporation of the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The paperwork re-empathizes a claim of support that leaders loyal to Jeffs made in papers filed with the Utah Division of Corporations last week.

The action comes after a church elder, William E. Jessop, moved to take control of the church’s corporation of the president last week. Leaders loyal to Jeffs, however, are fighting the claim by Jessop, whom Jeffs once pointed to as the church’s true leader in a 2007 jailhouse conversation. He later recanted.

Knudson also wrote that the assembly agreed Jessop “is not a part of said church.”

The Division of Corporations has placed a hold on Jessop’s paperwork, and the two sides now have until May 2 to work out who is in control, said spokeswoman Jennifer Bolton. If Jessop can’t prove he was in the right, the conflict will go to court.

Jeffs, 55, is now in a Texas jail awaiting trial on sexual assault and bigamy charges connected to alleged marriages to underage girls.

This article was found at:


Author who escaped abuse in US polygamy cult explains why Canadian constitutional case is so important in both countries

Stop Polygamy in Canada website has notes taken by observers in the courtroom as well as links to most of the affidavits and research the court is considering in this case.

Religious practice not above the law, polygamy consumes its young says Attorney General of BC in closing argument

Summary of positions in Canadian constitutional case on polygamy as court begins hearing final oral arguments

Lawyer says extraordinary evidence in Canadian case shows polygamous society consumes children, harms women

FLDS children raised for a life of poverty and servitude to their insane pedophile prophet Warren Jeffs

Child rapist Warren Jeffs predicts doomsday for an "evil wicked sinful world" if he is not freed from prison

Warren Jeffs diary submitted to Canadian court reveals three more child brides smuggled to US for FLDS leaders

RCMP renew investigation of Mormon polygamists on new evidence of child bride trafficking to US

Warren Jeffs ordered Canadian parents to smuggle daughters as young as 12 into US to be his brides

BC government failed to act on evidence of child bride trafficking after 2008 Texas raid on polygamists

Judge hearing polygamy case asked to allow new evidence of child bride trafficking between Canada and US

Rape charge dropped in plea deal for FLDS man who married 14 year old cousin, pleads guilty to lesser charges

Jeffs retakes legal control of FLDS from prison, court rules Utah illegally took over sect's property trust

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

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

Trial of Mormon fundamentalist leader Jeffs delayed again due to massive amount of evidence

Trial will proceed for FLDS man charged with rape after polygamist leader Jeffs was convicted as accomplice to rape

Polygamous sect leader hires then fires lawyer so judge appoints standby counsel and delays start of trial

Polygamist cult leader's silence in Texas court results in not guilty plea to bigamy and child sex charges

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

Polygamist leader failed to delay Texas trial set to start January 2011, supporter says God approves of child brides

Texas juries have convicted 5 Mormon fundamentalists from cult compound, 2 others pled guilty, leader Jeffs next to be tried

Mormon polygamist cult leader Jeffs extradited to Texas to face charges related to child 'brides' and bigamy

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

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

Former under-age polygamous bride tells all in book

Catching 5 from West Texas polygamist ranch may require wide net

Brother of jailed Mormon polygamist leader sentenced to 17 years for sex assault of child in forced 'marriage'

Trial begins for brother of jailed Mormon polygamist sect leader, state seeks enhanced penalty for sex assault of child

Mormon polygamist accused of sexual assault wants evidence of polygamy and fraud excluded from trial

Evidence seized during raid on Texas polygamist ranch can be used in sexual assault trials

FLDS polygamist sentenced to 10 years for sexual assault of minor in forced 'marriage'

Mormon polygamist gets 33 years for child sexual assault, defense relied on ridiculous religious freedom argument

Second Mormon polygamist found guilty of child sex assault, jury doesn't buy defense claim of religious persecution

Third Texas polygamist jailed for sex assault, but FLDS spokesman says no contest plea was merely a legal tactic

Fourth Mormon polygamist from Texas compound guilty of bigamy and sex assault of child 'bride', jailed 75 years

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

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


  1. It's a little bit irritating to see these headlines referring to "Mormon" polygamists. When someone is kicked out of the Presbyterian Church, is it legitimate to refer to him as a Presbyterian? Warren Jeffs' Father was kicked out of the LDS Church by Mormon leaders in the 1940's (for polygamy). Warren never was a Mormon, and neither are any of his co-religionists. Their religious tenets really are quite distinct from Mormon tenets. I'm pretty certain the Salt Lake Tribune article you link to doesn't refer to Warren Jeffs as a Mormon.

  2. I explain my use of headlines in the About This Blog section near the top of the right-hand column on this page.

    Mormon polygamist is an accurate description of fundamentalist Mormons who continue a practice that the mainstream Mormon church abandoned for political reasons. Saying they are not Mormons is the same as a moderate, mainstream Christian complaining that fundamentalists are not true Christians. But who gets to decide? Who are the real Christians? Catholics or Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses or Christian Scientists, Mormons or Baptists?

    Anyone who believes The Book of Mormon is a holy book, no matter how they interpret it, is a Mormon as far as I am concerned. When I use the terms "Mormon polygamist" or "Mormon fundamentalist" I do so to easily differentiate them from mainstream Mormons.

    I really don't care if you are irritated by that. And yes, if someone is kicked out of the Presbyterian Church, but they still consider themselves to be a Presbyterian, then they are one, no matter what the church leaders say. On the other hand, if they refer to themselves as former or ex-Presbyterians, then that's what they are. But Mormon fundamentalists do not refer to themselves as former Mormons, they refer to themselves as Mormons who interpret their holy book differently from mainstream Mormons. So, they are Mormons and you don't get to dictate what they are called.