Hearing for cult leader Warren Jeffs postponed

A hearing to consider polygamous church leader Warren S. Jeffs‘ request for a new trial has been postponed.

Jeffs filed a motion July 27 for a “speedy” new trial, hours after the Utah Supreme Court reversed his convictions on accomplice to rape charges and said the case should be reheard.

Fifth District Judge James Shumate was to hear the request Monday.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys asked the hearing be put on hold because the Supreme Court has not yet returned Jeffs’ case file — and is not likely to do so by then.

Meanwhile, Jeffs, 54, is facing an extradition proceeding that would transfer him to Texas to stand trial on charges of bigamy, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault.

– Source / Full Story: Jeffs hearing to be rescheduled , Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 19, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Jeffs is the 54-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints, a southern Utah-based church that practices polygamy.

His 2007 convictions on two counts of rape as an accomplice were overturned by the Utah Supreme Court last month. Citing faulty jury instructions, the court sent the case back to the district court.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a warrant for Jeffs extradition to Texas, but Jeffs attorneys have said they will fight extradition. Jeffs remained in the Utah State Prison on Wednesday.

[Utah Attorney General Mark] Shurtleff has said Utah authorities have decided to let Texas prosecute Jeffs before attempting to try him again.

– Source / Full Story: UT judge cancels polygamous sect leader’s hearing , Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press, Aug. 18, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 19, 2010.
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