September 7, 2011
Posted: 07:40 PM ET
Give a new trial in cause #1061
I Warren Steed Jeffs file this motion pro-se. This motion filed before court in time period allotted in timely nature. Declaring to court:
The Constitutional protection for religious faith and freedom of practice not being of full protection in previous trial, which constitutional religious protection of religious rights, freedoms and religious practice should be upheld (illegible) and supreme; in courts of law; even for the sake of preserving those rights for all religious faiths. This not being upheld, so openly, in previous trial, is legal grounds sufficient to rule in favor of defendant allowed a new trial; also the court not allowing a full hearing on motions of suppression centered around illegal search; defendant (illegible) requested full re-hearing with witnesses and evidence brought forth; this yet needing to be performed and fully examined.
This new trial is in need.
Signature August 23, 2011
Signed this day Warren Steed Jeffs Pro Se
Filed under: Warren Jeffs
August 4, 2011
Posted: 12:48 PM ET
With less than an hour of arguments today from Warren Jeffs, the polygamist sect leader on trial for sexual assault silently rested his case. This comes after a bizarre day of testimony yesterday.
Day 5 of the TX v Warren Jeffs trial began with Warren Jeffs, asking for what he calls Constitutional protection based upon his belief that he represents a religious organization. His request was immediately denied.
During testimony, the prosecution established how Warren Jeffs married a 12-year-old girl who is the daughter of one of his followers. The child was watched over by Jeffs most of her life. Public records show the jury learned that Jeffs was involved in assigning jobs for the Jessop family and was the principle at Alta Academy, the FLDS school the girl attended.
The prosecution’s most damning evidence against Jeffs is an audio recording of Jeffs allegedly having sex with the child. That recording was played in court yesterday. On it, Jeffs can be heard saying the child’s full name, leaving no doubt as to who is in the room with him. As the tape was played, jurors also heard heavy breathing and talking, including Jeffs asking, "Does it feel good?" and a child’s voice responding "Yes, thank you." The prosecution also claims that three of Jeffs other so-called “celestial wives” were present when the recording was made. The recording ended with Jeffs saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," and the child repeating, "Amen."
While listening to the tape, several jurors held their heads in their hands, some covered their mouths. One woman could be seen wiping away her tears with tissue. The state rested its case after playing the explosive audio.
Jeffs then began his defense with a 30-minute sermon, used as an opening statement. After that, Jeffs called his first and only witness, J.D. Roundy, to the stand. Roundy is a member of the FLDS and was present each day for the trial. Jeffs questioned Roundy for four hours, which basically amounted to Jeffs having his witness explainthe tenets of their faith, in an attempt to establish his claim for religious freedom. On cross examination, prosecutor Eric Nichols asked Roundy a series of questions meant to discredit Jeffs' assertions that his actions were based on his beliefs.
"Have you ever instructed girls how to prepare themselves to have sex with you?" Nichols asked Roundy.
"Have you ever engaged in sexual relations with a 15 year old?"
"Have you ever had sexual relations with a 12 year old?"
After a brief re-direct questioning of Roundy that spanned the end of yesterday’s proceedings and the early part this morning, Jeffs was told to call his next witness. He refused to say anything and the judge then rested the case for him. Right now, both sides are getting 30 minutes for closing arguments. After that, the judge will give the jurors instructions and they will decide whether Warren Jeffs is guilty of sexual assault.
-Keith Lovely Jr., In Session Associate Producer
-Jim Kyle, In Session Field Producer
August 3, 2011
Posted: 08:33 AM ET
In discussions about Warren Jeffs and the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) church the topic of “bleeding the beast,” or taking advantage of government money, often comes up. A former polygamist sect member, Laurie Allen, talked about it in an interview on In Session. Allen produced "Banking on Heaven," a documentary about the FLDS under Jeffs’ leadership. During our interview last week, Allen claimed the FLDS collects food stamps and other forms of public assistance because many of the women technically are still single. In the FLDS, multiple women are often “celestially married” to one man, with only one of the women being legally married to their collective husband. That means the other illegitimate wives can collect assistance for themselves and their children.
Allen said the group also collects government assistance for children with disabilities – disabilities she attributes to inbreeding in the FLDS community. She claims “in the state ofArizonaalone, they’re getting between 20 and 30 million dollars a year” and most of the members “are living off taxpayer money.” She interviewed former Attorney General Terry Goddard in her documentary. Goddard told her 80% of the FLDS members are on welfare and more than 4,000 of them have state medical insurance access.
In 2006, CNN’s Randi Kaye wrote a blog detailing how polygamy affects taxpayers. In the blog, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff made a similar assertion, stating "their religious belief is that they'll bleed the beast, meaning the government. They hate the government, so they'll bleed it for everything they can through welfare, tax evasion and fraud."
Another example of bleeding the beast involves property taxes. In 2005, a judge appointed an accountant to help collect more than a million dollars in overdue property taxes from polygamist property owners living inColorado City,Arizona. Six years later, the group is said to owe more than $2 million in delinquent property taxes inColoradoCityandHildale,Utah.
Keith Lovely Jr. – In Session Associate Producer
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