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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Warren Jeffs trial, July 26, 2011

The Prairie Chicken
July 26, 2011

Having been held in the El Dorado Texas jail for three years,  Fundamentalist Mormon leader Warren Jeffs has spent an average of 3K per month on phone calls paid for by phone cards. 
 Authorities say Jeffs has received money from his followers and that he uses much of it to buy phone time to deliver lengthy and elaborate sermons to disciples in Texas, Utah and Arizona.
 According to Schleicher County Sheriff David, Jeffs’ calls indicate that he is still running his church from behind bars.

 The Texas accusations arise mainly from a raid conducted by the Texas Rangers on an FLDS ranch a few miles from El Dorado. Authorities took hundreds of children away from the ranch for over two months before allowing them to return.

During the raid, Jeffs' diaries were confiscated, which included photographs of Jeffs kissing very young girls.  Some once-trusted aides of Warren Jeffs say he has betrayed his church’s principles and lost their loyalty by openly boasting of relations with girls as young as 12 or 13.  “And he’s confessed to doing some very terrible things, including molesting his daughter and sister and others,” said Willie E. Jessop, a former Jeffs associate.

Jeffs is represented by attorney  Jeff Kearney.

Jeffs was tried in St. George, Utah, after his arrest in 2006 and he was found guilty on two charges of being an accomplice to rape.  The conviction was overturned by an appellate court on a technicality; jury instructions were found to have been faulty.  Utah prosecutors decided not to re-try the case.

Jury selection for Jeff’s sexual assault trial began in Texas on Monday. He is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of bigamy, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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