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Trial of cult leader Warren Jeffs scheduled for July 25


ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday June 15, 2011

After months of delays, the trial of the polygamy-sanctioning Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs is set for July 25 in San Angelo.

The San Angelo Standard-Times reports:

State District Judge Barbara Walther ruled Tuesday that the trial would be moved from Schleicher County over the objection of defense attorneys, who indicated they will request at a hearing next month that the trial be held outside of Walther’s 51st Judicial District.

San Angelo “is the hotbed of all the publicity,” said Jeff Kearney, one of Jeffs’ attorneys.

Walther’s decision came after state District Judge John Hyde of Midland denied a motion to recuse the judge from Jeffs’ trial on charges of sexual assault of a child. [...]

Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child — one of them aggravated sexual assault because the child was 14 years old — both at a time when Jeffs was about 50 years old. The aggravated charge is a first-degree felony charge of five to 99 years in prison and the other is a second-degree felony charge of two to 20 years in prison.

At a later date Jeffs will also stand trial in Texas on bigamy charges.

A list of additional crimes prosecutors may use against the cult leader was entered in a Texas court under seal last March.

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