SALT LAKE CITY – Arizona served notice Thursday that it wants polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs on charges related to arranging marriages of underage girls to older men.
Jeffs is being prosecuted on similar charges in Utah, after which he’ll be sent to Arizona.
Jeffs, appearing by video link from a southern Utah jail, waived a reading of the Arizona arrest warrant and told a Utah judge his lawyers would handle it, court officials said.
The judge set a hearing for Oct. 25 for Jeffs, 50, to decide whether he will fight extradition to Arizona after the Utah case is resolved.
In Arizona, Jeffs, who heads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, faces six charges of performing the marriages of three minors to older men, Mohave County chief deputy attorney Jace Zack said.
The men, Randolph J. Barlow, 33, Terry D. Barlow, 25, and Rodney H. Holm, 40, also face felony sex offenses tied to the marriages. Each already had at least one wife, Zack said.
Authorities in both states agreed to let Utah take Jeffs first because the case is considered stronger and the penalties more severe.
Jeffs faces two rape-by-accomplice charges in Utah, where he’s accused of forcing another underaged girl to marry an older man over her objections. Each count carries a penalty of five years to life in prison.
Jeffs presided over 10,000 followers in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
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