Attorney asks to dismiss two of 10 charges against Warren Jeffs

Faced with an uncooperative witness, Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith has asked that two of 10 charges against Warren Steed Jeffs be dismissed.

Smith said he received a letter from the attorney of alleged victim Candi Shapley saying she would not take the stand against the 52-year-old polygamist sect leader.

Smith told the Associated Press Monday that Shapley “does not want to have to deal with all the family and community pressures to be involved in this case. And that’s her decision, and I’m going to respect it and have always respected it.”

Shapley also had refused to testify in the 2005 prosecution of Randolph Joseph Barlow. Jeffs had presided over Shapley and Barlow’s marriage when she was 16.

As with the Barlow case, Smith requested the charges against Jeffs be dismissed with prejudice. By doing so, the state will not be able to bring an action on the same claim against Jeffs.

“The state cannot prove its case without the testimony of the victim,” Smith said in the motion filed March 10. The motion asked that Mohave County Judge Steven F. Conn dismiss charges of sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor in a 2005 case.

Conn could rule on the motion as early as Wednesday, when a case management hearing is set for 8:15 a.m. Smith said he doesn’t expect much to happen at the hearing; Conn will likely set another hearing and there may be some discussion of preliminary discovery issues.

In the Barlow case, Shapley wrote a letter on Aug. 7, 2006, to Conn requesting the dismissal.

“I am not interested in making trouble or being the cause of trouble for Warren Jeffs or Randy Barlow or anyone else,” she said. “I just want to be done with it.”

If Conn dismisses the 2005 case, Jeffs would still face eight felony counts involving arranged marriages between teenage girls and adult male members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Jeffs faces four counts of sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of incest in two separate cases.

Shapley’s refusal in the trial came as no surprise to Smith or defense attorneys, according to the Associated Press.

“It is frustrating,” Smith said. “But when you see a pattern of this type of thing, you just have to realize that’s part of it and you just have to move on.”

He currently is being held in the Mohave County Jail, where he has refused all visitors who are not legal counsel, according to Trish Carter, public information specialist for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeffs was brought to Kingman last month after a November conviction in Utah for rape as an accomplice for his involvement in an arranged marriage between a then-14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin in Washington County, Utah.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday March 19, 2008.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at