Texas judge OKs evidence collected in raid on sect

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A Texas judge ruled Friday that prosecutors could use thousands of documents seized during a weeklong raid of a polygamist sect’s West Texas ranch in upcoming criminal trials even though search warrants were prompted by faked reports of abuse, AP reports.

Attorneys for FLDS sect men charged after the April 2008 raid had sought to have the documents — including family photos, records of multiple marriages and journal entries by jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs — kept out of their trials because they were obtained using search warrants that relied on false reports to a domestic abuse hotline.

The defendants argued law enforcement officials were looking for an excuse to raid the Yearning For Zion Ranch and did little to check the reports before rummaging through the ranch’s homes and other buildings.

Prosecutors disputed that claim, saying law enforcement officials believed the reports were real at the time of the search.

- Source / Full Story: HEADLINE, Michelle Roberts, AP, Oct. 2, 2009– Summarized by Religion News Blog

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