Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Retrial Ordered for Polygamist Warren Jeffs

Breaking News from the Utah Supreme Court... 
The rape convictions of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs was overturned and a new trial was ordered.   Jeffs, 54, was convicted in 2007 of two counts of  felony rape for his part in arranging the marriage of a 14 year old girl to her 19 year old cousin.  She claimed that she was forced into the marriage and subsequently sexually assaulted by her then-husband.

The court ruled that there were errors in the jury instructions during the original trial in 2007 for his involvement of rape as an accomplice. 

"Because we hold that the trial court's instructions to the jury regarding lack of consent were in error," the court opinion said. "We reverse Jeffs' two convictions of rape as an accomplice and remand for a new trial.

He is the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway sect of Mormonism and based on the border between Utah and Arizona.

Prior to his arrest Jeffs was on the run for 15 months and was on the FBI's most wanted list. 
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