Lawyers for FLDS leader Warren Jeffs to question anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop

Details sought regarding hoax phone call

Lawyers for Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs plan to interview an anti-polygamy activist about the phone calls that sparked the raid on the sect’s YFZ Ranch in Texas.

In papers filed last week in a Kingman, Ariz., court, Jeffs’ attorneys said they have scheduled a Nov. 24 interview with Flora Jessop in Phoenix. Jeffs’ criminal defense team has asked her to bring copies of “any recordings of any phone calls between yourself and Rozita Swinton,” the woman suspected of making the hoax call that launched the raid.

The FLDS leader’s attorneys also seek phone call recordings between Jessop and Arizona and Texas law enforcement and child welfare officials.

Jessop told the Deseret News earlier this year she received numerous calls from Swinton, who claimed to be an abused, pregnant teenager trapped in a marriage to an older man on the YFZ Ranch. Jessop said she went to law enforcement when she began to believe the calls were a hoax.

Swinton, 33, is considered a “person of interest” by Texas authorities. The Deseret News reported last month that she is undergoing in-patient mental health treatment as part of a pair of unrelated false reporting cases in Colorado.

Law enforcement seized hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence when serving search warrants on the YFZ Ranch. Some of that evidence details allegations of underage marriages within the FLDS Church. Jeffs’ lawyers have filed court papers seeking to keep any evidence seized in the Texas raid out of his upcoming trial on sexual misconduct charges. The FLDS leader is accused of performing underage marriages in the Arizona cases.

– Source: FLDS leader’s lawyers to question anti-polygamy activist, Ben Winslow, Deseret News (Utah, USA), Nov. 18, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday November 19, 2008.
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