HURRICANE – Warren Steed Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center Sunday morning for a medical emergency, as first reported on the Web site of The Spectrum & Daily News on Monday night.
Jeffs, 51, was transported by Hurricane Fire and Rescue about 6:30 a.m. after he was found “distressed” by Purgatory Correctional Facility medical staff,said Lt. Jake Adams of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Under heavy guard, Jeffs was taken to the hospital where he was medically cleared and transported back to the jail at approximately 10 a.m. Since his return to his cell, where he is being held alone in what is termed “administrative custody,” Jeffs has been checked about every 15 minutes.
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Rob Tersigni, Washington County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, said Jeffs has not had any previous medical issues since he has been incarcerated at Purgatory. Jeffs was checked out Sunday morning by jail medical staff for heart problems and an anonymous source said the initial call for medical assistance was for heart-related problems. The source said Jeffs was conscious and alert when medical personnel arrived at the jail.
Jeffs has been at the facility since Sept. 5 after being arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 15 near Las Vegas.
Since Jeffs has arrived at Purgatory to face charges of rape as an accomplice, he has been held in the administrative cells, which are reserved for inmates with medical or mental health problems, those on suicide watch or those like Jeffs who are considered high-profile inmates.
Inmates in those cells are routinely checked more frequently than inmates in the general population.
Because of Jeffs’ high-profile status, the leader of the FLDS church – who has approximately 10,000 followers mostly living in Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz. – has appeared in 5th District Court under heavy guard and arrived at Purgatory veiled in a shroud of secrecy.
Adams said extra deputies were called in Sunday morning, some of whom are members of the SWAT team, although he wasn’t sure of the number of deputies responding.
Adams said calling in extra deputies is part of the protocol for high-profile inmates. Adams did not know how many inmates at the jail, besides Jeffs, are in that category.
While some of the administrative cells are in the booking area, others are located in the regular cell blocks. No one from the Sheriff’s office has confirmed exactly where Jeffs’ cell is located.
Even the call for medical assistance to the jail for Jeffs was kept off the normal police broadcast channels.
The twice-daily incident report shows several incidents at the jail Sunday morning several hours after Jeffs was transported to the hospital – one for a jail incident/contraband and two for discovery of a controlled substance.
Adams said those incidents were unrelated to Jeffs and Tersigni said there was no indication that contraband was involved in Jeffs’ case.
“I’m assuming this is not drug related,” Tersigni said.
Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap said he was contacted Sunday morning about Jeffs being transported to the hospital and said he had no concerns about liability issues.
Adams said Jeffs has been well taken care of since he has been in Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Tara Isaacson, one of Jeffs’ attorneys, was contacted Monday afternoon and asked if she had spoken with Jeffs since he was treated and released at the hospital, but she declined to comment.