Warren Jeffs case will not return to grand jury

Jeffs’ case won’t return to grand jury

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A Mohave County judge has denied an effort to have Arizona’s case against polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs sent back to a grand jury for reconsideration.

Jeffs’ defense attorney Michael Piccaretta had argued that Jeffs was denied a fair, impartial and unbiased grand jury, and that the prosecution presented false or misleading evidence to the grand jury.

Piccaretta said Monday he plans to appeal Judge Steven Conn’s decision.

“We felt that there should have been more inquiries into whatever biases and prejudices the grand jurors had before they heard the case,” he said. “We wanted a fair and unbiased grand jury. We wanted it returned so we could obtain one, and the judge disagreed.”


Conn agreed that the case has generated a fair amount of publicity in Arizona. But, he said, the law relating to pretrial publicity at a trial level does not apply to a case being presented to a grand jury.

“It goes without saying that in many critical ways the grand jury is not like a trial jury and lacks numerous features that would safeguard the rights of a defendant,” Conn wrote in the ruling.

Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Jeffs awaits trial in Arizona on four counts of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor. Those charges stem from the marriages of two teenage girls and their adult male relatives.


– Source: Jeffs’ case won’t return to grand jury , Felicia Fonseca, AP, via the Houston Chronicle, USA, Aug. 25, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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