Allegations of false testimony in 2007 trial of polygamous sect leader surface
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday March 2, 2010
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an allegation of dishonest testimony about medical records of the state’s key witness during the 2007 criminal trial of FLDS polygamous sect prophet Warren S. Jeffs.
According to a sheriff’s report, the investigation began in January after Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap was informed that a witness “had lied” about medical records presented during Jeffs’ accomplice to rape trial. The case was based on a 2001 spiritual marriage Jeffs performed between Elissa Wall, then 14, and Allen G. Steed, then 19.
Wall testified during the trial she objected to the arranged marriage but Jeffs, then a counselor in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, ignored her pleas.
Jeffs was convicted in September 2007 and is currently serving two five-to-life sentences in Utah. He is also awaiting trial in Arizona on charges related to two underage marriages — one based on Wall’s case — he performed.
The witness’ name is redacted from the report filed in Arizona, but the defense motion refers to “false testimony given” by Wall.
Price is director of The Diversity Foundation, a nonprofit founded by ex-FLDS member Dan Fischer that assists teens who have left the polygamous sect.
Fischer also funded three lawsuits filed by former FLDS youth, including Wall’s multimillion dollar civil lawsuit, that targeted the sect’s United Effort Plan Trust. The youth are represented by Salt Lake City lawyers Roger and Greg Hoole.
In his report, Washington County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jake Schultz said Price was told by Lamont Barlow, Wall’s current husband, the medical records had “all been created in one day, to make it look like she had seen a caretaker on several different occasions.”
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