Utah governor signs extradition request for cult leader Warren Jeffs
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday August 11, 2010
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert early this evening signed an extradition warrant that will send polygamous church leader Warren S. Jeffs to Texas.
It is unclear how soon that might happen. Jeffs’ Utah attorneys have said they plan to fight his transfer.
Spokeswoman Angie Welling said Jeffs’ counsel can file a writ of habeus to challenge the warrant, but was uncertain what timeline that might involve.
Welling said Herbert signed the warrant and an executive agreement about 5:30 p.m.
“It provides Utah the option to bring Mr. Jeffs back to the state at the conclusion of the Texas case,” Welling said.
The extradition request signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, dated July 29, asked that the governor’s office notify Texas Ranger Nick Hanna when “the fugitive is ready for release to the custody of our agents.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Jeffs was still being held at the Utah State Prison, according to a corrections spokesman.
Jeffs, 54, is charged with bigamy, aggravated sexual assault and assault based on his relations with two underage girls that allegedly took place at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.
Attorney general seeks rehearing
In the wake of the Utah Supreme Court’s decision last month to toss a pair of rape convictions against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, the Utah Attorney General’s Office is seeking a rehearing before the high court.
Prosecutors were granted a two-week extension to file a petition for a rehearing, a court official said Tuesday. The petition is due Aug. 23.
Scott Troxel, a spokesman for Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, said his office would not comment on the cause “until the petition is filed.”
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