Con­vic­tions are re­versed against po­lyg­a­mist leader

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Tues­day re­versed the con­vic­tions of po­lyg­a­mist leader War­ren Jeffs and or­dered a new trial, say­ing a jury re­ceived in­cor­rect in­struc­tions be­fore con­sid­er­ing his role in the 2001 nup­tials of a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

Jeffs, 54, was con­victed in 2007 of two counts of first-de- gree felony rape as an ac­com­plice. He is serv­ing two con­sec­u­tive terms of five years to life in state prison.

“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court had the courage to ex­on­er­ate, or to at least find that le­gal er­rors were made, so that Mr. Jeffs, ob­vi­ously a very un­pop­u­lar fig­ure in the state of Utah, could have his con­vic­tion over­turned,” de­fense at­tor­ney Wally Bud­gen said.

As­sis­tant Utah At­tor­ney Gen­eral Laura DuPaix said the state main­tains its po­si­tion that Jeffs used his re­li­gious author­ity to force an un­der­age girl to marry and have sex.

“The court said to­day that at least part of our le­gal rea­son­ing was mis­guided; we ac­cept that, and we think that’s un­for­tu­nate,” DuPaix said. “We do think that it will make it a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult to pros­e­cute men like War­ren Jeffs who are forc­ing young girls in to un­wanted mar­riages.”

Mean­while, au­thor­i­ties in Texas are try­ing to get him sent there to face charges.

War­ren Jeffs Po­lyg­a­mist leader is granted a new trial.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.