Fasting lands Warren Jeffs in prison infirmary

Polygamist Warren S. Jeffs has been admitted to a prison infirmary because of a self-imposed fast, but an attorney argues that should not prevent his under-oath interview with the sect leader.

Attorney Roger Hoole, who represents a young man seeking information about his mother from Jeffs, had a deposition scheduled with the sect leader Thursday at the Utah State Prison in Draper.


The FLDS is also considered to be a cult of Christianity. Sociologically,the group is a high-control cult.

That interview was postponed after medical staff at the prison informed Hoole that Jeffs is in the infirmary. Jeffs, 52, was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice in November in connection with an arranged marriage he conducted. He is serving two consecutive five-to-life terms and has been housed in the prison’s maximum security unit.

Jeffs has been the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

A fax sent to Hoole said Jeffs was taken to the infirmary for observation after he began a partial fast a week ago. Jeffs told staff that he is “drinking some but is not eating as he is fasting for ‘spiritual strength,’ ” the fax states.

The fax is included in a document filed Thursday in 3rd District Court asking Judge L.A. Dever to require Jeffs to proceed with the deposition.

“Any self-imposed fast should not provide Mr. Jeffs an excuse to cancel his deposition in this matter and, in any event, that partial fast has not rendered Mr. Jeffs unable to proceed,” Hoole said in the filing.

Hoole represents Johnny Jessop, who sued Jeffs in 2007 in hopes of being reunited with his mother, Elsie Jessop. Jessop was 10 when Jeffs expelled his father from the faith and reassigned his mother to then-FLDS bishop Fred Jessop.

At 13, Johnny Jessop ran away from his Hildale home for several days, joining older friends in Hurricane to party; he said an older brother tracked him down and told him that Jeffs wanted him out of the community.

Now 19, Jessop spoke briefly with his mother after filing his lawsuit a year ago but has not been able to reach her since then.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday February 22, 2008.
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