Wed December 1, 2010
Jailed FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs is Back in Texas
The Texas Attorney General sent us a news release this morning announcing that Warren Jeffs, former leader of theFundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), arrived in the West Texas town of San Angelo at 9 o'clock last night.
Jeffs is there to face trial on charges of sexual assault of a child and bigamy. You can read some of the gruesome details in the Schleicher County indictment.
CNN reports that Jeffs is scheduled to appear in Tom Green County Court at 11 a.m. for arraignment.
The Utah Court of Appeals halted Jeffs' extradition while it considered his appeal of the extradition order, then transferred the matter to the Utah Supreme Court. That court on November 23 dismissed the appeal, clearing the way for the extradition to proceed.
In July, the Utah Supreme Court overturned Jeffs' conviction in that state on two counts of being an accomplice to rape, ruling that instructions given to jurors were erroneous.
Charges against Jeffs stem back to the state's 2008 raid on the polygamous community's Yearning For Zion ranch near Eldorado, a small community outside San Angelo. More than 400 children were taken from their parents, but most were ordered returned to their families by the State Supreme Court. The court ruled that state child welfare authorities should not have treated the entire community as a single household in justifying the seizure of children.
KUT did a whole whack of stories on this issue. Check out some of our award-winning coverage. One recent piece that you might find compelling was an interview this year with former FLDS member Carolyn Jessop. She lived in the Colorado City, Arizona FLDS community that Jeffs once led, but she escaped and went on to write two books about the experience.
The Texas AG's office says so far, twelve members from the FLDS community in Eldorado, Texas have been convicted of sexually assaulting children.