Boy killed in crash on ranch owned by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs

ELDORADO, Texas — A 3-year-old boy was killed and another child was injured when a minivan they were riding in crashed on a ranch owned by polygamist sect led by Warren Jeffs.

Allen Rulon Jeffs was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and 3-year-old Richard Rulon Jeffs was in critical condition Thursday night. Isaac Steed Jeffs Jr., 3, and the driver, Barbara Joy Jessop, were treated and released, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported Friday.

It was unclear whether the victims were related to Warren Jeffs, who has been arrested on charges of forcing a teenage girl to enter a spiritual marriage with an older man. His attorney has said Jeffs believes the case is religious persecution.

A news release from the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Department said the minivan hit a boulder while traveling on a gravel road in Eldorado, about 190 miles (305 kilometers) northwest of San Antonio.

The boys were not wearing seat belts, Sheriff David Doran said. No charges are expected, Sheriff David Doran said.

Meanwhile, in Utah, a judge on Thursday formalized the state’s takeover of a $100 million (‚¬79 million) community trust held for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the sect that Jeffs leads.

The sect broke away from the Mormon church more than a century ago and has been disavowed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Judge Denise Lindberg removed Warren Jeffs and five others as trustees and ordered them to provide a full accounting of the trust’s assets and prohibited the liquidation of property or real estate belonging to the sect.

Lindberg’s six-page order formalized arrangements made since June 2005, when Jeffs and the others lost control of a trust established by church leaders in the late 1940s over allegations of mismanagement.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, AP, via the International Herald Tribune, Oct. 27, 2006,

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday October 27, 2006.
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