SAN ANGELO, Texas €” Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs won’t stand trial in Texas until at least July after hiring a new lawyer, who argued Monday that the “awesome” amount of evidence in the criminal case is too voluminous to prepare a defense anytime soon.
A judge agreed and postponed Jeffs’ trial on charges of having sex with two children at the Yearning for Zion ranch for a second time. The trial was moved from February to July 25, and Jeffs’ new attorney cautioned that he may ultimately request an even later date.
State prosecutors requested that Jeffs stand trial before the end of the year.
Jeffs, 55, arrived in a West Texas courtroom with prominent Fort Worth, Texas, attorney Jeff Kearney, who told state District Judge Barbara Walther about others describing to him boxes of evidence that, if stacked floor to ceiling, could practically fill the courtroom.
Walther, sounding understanding, told Kearney that she believed there were some 13 terabytes of evidence also stored digitally.
“I’ve had things described to me that make me think this is an awesome task,” Kearney said.
The evidence that Kearney is tasked with sorting through includes thousands of pages taken from the Yearning for Zion ranch during a weeklong raid in April 2008.
The Yearning for Zion ranch raid nearly three years ago left a dozen men in the church facing charges that include sexual assault and bigamy. Seven have been prosecuted since last year, and all were convicted.
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