A Texas judge denied the appeal of fundamentalist sect leader Warren Jeffs on Thursday, the same day a jury considered testimony to determine how to sentence a key figure in his church after his own bigamy conviction.
The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jeffs is serving a life-plus-20-year term in Texas for sexual assault. He was convicted in August of the aggravated sexual assaults of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl, who Jeffs had claimed were his “spiritual wives.”
On Thursday, Chief Justice J. Woodfin Jones of Texas’ Third District Court of Appeals ruled against Jeffs’ appeal of that conviction.
In his ruling, Jones noted Jeffs, who represented himself during part of his trial, missed several deadlines related to his appeal. Specifically, he did not file “a written designation specifying the matters to be included in the clerk’s record nor (make) arrangements for payment of the record with the clerk’s office.”
“We informed Jeffs that his appeal may be dismissed for want of prosecution if he did not make arrangements for payment of the record and submit a status report regarding this appeal on or before January 23, 2012,” Jones wrote. “To date, Jeffs has not responded.”
According to a memorandum opinion handed down Thursday by the Third Court of Appeal Jeffs, who is representing himself, missed two essential deadlines. Records for the appeal and payment to the court were due by Dec. 7, and neither was done.
After a notice of appeal, Jeffs filed little with the court aside from three books of apocalyptic “revelations from God,” similar to those his followers have mailed out to libraries and government officials around the country in December, clerks said.
He had been informed that his appeal may be “dismissed for want of prosecution” of he didn’t make arrangements to pay for the records or submit a status report by Jan. 23, according to Thursday’s opinion.
Jeffs will be tried later this year on a charge of bigamy.
With no response from Jeffs, the court dismissed his appeal.