Warren Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader and convicted child rapist, is in a coma and may not survive, a source close to Jeffs tells ABC News:
Jeffs, 55, had been fasting for the past three days and became so weak that doctors at the Texas prison where he is serving a life sentence induced a coma, according to the source.
The leader of a radical polygamist sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), Jeffs is scheduled to go on trial a second time in October to face charges of first-degree bigamy. Conviction would be punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Jeffs was moved last Tuesday to a solitary cell at the Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas, because of the large amount of media coverage surrounding his case, prison officials said.
Polygamous Sect Leader Warren Jeffs in Critical Condition
He is now being treated at the East Texas Medical Facility in Tyler, Texas, the nearest major medical center to the Powledge Unit, Michelle Lyons, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice , told ABC News.
Lyons said Jeffs is in “critical but stable condition,” but added, “I cannot confirm that he is in a coma.”
Prison officials are prohibited from releasing the specific medical conditions for which Jeffs is currently receiving treatment due to the federal health privacy policies.
This is not the first time prison fasts have landed Jeffs at a hospital. While he was awaiting trial on accomplice to rape charges in Utah, Jeffs had to be force fed following self-imposed fasts several times and had open sores on his knees from long periods spent praying. Until now, he had been healthy while imprisoned in Texas.