Polygamist Jeffs Sentencing
August 9, 2011 by staff
Polygamist Jeffs Sentencing, Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting two minors who had followers as brides in what his church considered “spiritual marriages.”
The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remained silent as the jury’s decision was read Tuesday Texas. He received the maximum sentence in both cases.
Attorney Eric Nichols had asked the jury a sentence of life imprisonment, saying the case was “a process to protect people.” The jury deliberated less than half an hour.
The Jeffs 55 years of age, which had insisted on acting as his own lawyer during the first part of the trial, was sentenced on Thursday. He left the sentencing phase in protest after reading a statement, which he said, was from God, promising a “whirlwind of trial” in the world if “humble servant” of God was not released.
During the trial, prosecutors used DNA evidence to prove Jeffs had a son with a girl of 15 years and played an audio recording of what it said was sexually assaulting a 12 years old. They played other movies in which Jeffs was heard instructing as much as a dozen young wives on how to please him sexually – and therefore, he said, God willing.
“If the world knew what he was doing, I would be hung from the tallest tree,” Jeffs wrote in 2005, according to one of the thousands of pages of notes seized along with audio recordings of his ranch in Texas.
Jeffs claimed their religious rights were being violated. On behalf of himself after burning through seven high-powered lawyers, who routinely interrupted the proceedings and chose to be silent in front of the jury for nearly half an hour during his closing arguments. He called one witness for the defense, an elder of the church read from Mormon scripture.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a radical brand of Mormonism believes that the current that polygamy brings exaltation in heaven has over 10,000 followers who consider Jeffs became the mouthpiece of God on Earth.
He spent years evading arrest – crossing the country like a fugitive who finally made the FBI Ten Most Wanted before his capture in 2006, said prosecutor Eric Nichols.
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