Screenshot 2017-11-17 at 8.03.45 AM - Edited

FLDS members have begun submitting letters of intent saying they will live in and maintain homes owned by their former land trust, called the United Effort Plan, or UEP. The letters say the occupants also will pay the property taxes on their respective homes. “We aren’t even agreeing with them,” A member said of the UEP. “We’ve just worked out a situation or something where they will stop the evictions.” Most of the Hildale properties have since been sold — often to former FLDS members or their family.
Phil Jessop said the FLDS members he sees there appear to not belong to the United Order — the sect’s upper echelon. “I do think that if they can keep their homes in Colorado City, they’re probably not in the FLDS or in the Order,” Jessop said. “They may be trying to hold on, but from what we understand, [Order members have] been instructed to move out of Colorado City.”

 

 

 

[November 17

Their life in the hardscrabble region, where unpaved roads predominate, has always been half a century behind the rest of the US.

With the outside world descending on fundamentalist Mormons in Utah and Arizona, families struggle for basic needs: ‘Everything just shut down’

[August 1 2011 Warren Jeffs: Last four prosecution witnesses ]

 

warren jeffs 2011 - Edited

Warren Jeffs 2011 in Utah

In the trial of the State of Texas versus Warren Jeffs, the leader of the breakaway Fundamentalist sect of the Mormon Church known as the FLDS, [Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints FCLDS]
On Friday, mostly due to the unanticipated divine revelations of the defense, prosecutors were unable to get through the 10 witnesses they had hoped would testify. The testimony of the remaining four will start the day’s proceedings on Monday at 10 a.m. ET. cnn law blog

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Yearning For Zion Ranch 2008

Yearning For Zion Ranch 2008

Agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety have taken possession of Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch, the FLDS compound, near Eldorado Texas on a court order from a petition from Texas Attorney General in November, 2012 , a 1,600-acre property in West Texas where multiple children were sexually assaulted by members of the FLDS. Online records from the Schleicher County Appraisal District indicate a dozen pieces of property at the ranch’s address that are owned by the trust and total 1,691 acres. Combined, the most recent appraised value of the properties is $33.4 million.
FLDS’s leaders illegally structured financial transactions to evade law enforcement oversight, and describes how Warren Jeffs personally toured the YFZ Ranch before subsequently authorizing its purchase. Based on a thorough financial audit of the FLDS’s bank accounts, the affidavit details how the purchase of the ranch itself and the construction of a massive compound on ranch property were financed with the proceeds of illegal money laundering.

[December 2 2013]
Texas moved a little bit closer to seizing the sprawling, polygamous Yearning for Zion Ranch. During a Nov. 4 hearing in Schleicher County, a pair of lawyers from the Texas Attorney General’s office told a judge they have served Isaac Steed Jeffs and Keith Dutson Sr. with papers relating to the state’s efforts to take the ranch, according to Texas AG’s spokeswoman Lauren Bean.

Officials still need to serve James Jerry Jessop. However, at the Nov. 4 hearing the attorneys told the judge they could not find Jessop and filed a “motion for substitute service.” Bean said the motion is used to serve papers to a person who cannot be located. It offers attorneys other options for serving papers and moving forward with the case, though Bean did not provide details about those options.

The judge granted the motion for substitute service but did not set a new hearing date.

[August 1 2011]
The state continued building its case against Warren Jeffs Monday afternoon, calling Texas Rangers who were involved in the YFZ Ranch raid to establish continuous custody of evidence and a former FLDS member to explain the significance of the documents.

Rebecca Musser, a former FLDS member, testified about the importance of record-keeping in the sect, saying individual members receive an enormous amount of training in religious doctrine. Musser said she was educated in the Alta Academy, a Salt Lake City institute where a generation of FLDS children was indoctrinated. Warren Jeffs taught and acted as principal at the academy from 1976 to 1998.
A DNA expert testified that Warren Jeffs is almost certainly the father of a male child born to the girl he is accused of sexually assaulting in 2005. Amy Smuts, called by the prosecution Monday, said DNA evidence provided 99.99996 percent certainty that the boy is Jeffs’ child. Prosecutors presented the testimony as proof that Jeffs had sex with the girl, who was 15 years old at the time.

Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child.

The ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints is standing trial before a Tom Green County jury of 10 women and two men after being extradited from Utah in November. The charges are based on evidence seized from the FLDS community in Schleicher County, the YFZ Ranch, in April 2008.

The allegations against Jeffs are that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2005 and a 12-year-old girl in 2006 on the ranch after participating with each of them in “celestial marriages,” a ceremony unique to the FLDS that allows the sect to exercise its polygamous beliefs without running afoul of bigamy statutes.

Jeff Warren Indictment

Jeff Warren Indictment


The prosecution has rested its case in the sexual assault trial of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The state planned to conclude its case against Warren Jeffs on August 3, with much audio evidence having been heard by the jury August 2. Jeffs had the opportunity to begin his defense August 3.

The court heard a recording of Jeffs speaking to a group of young women or girls. He stood in court for more than an hour, objecting for several minutes off and on while the jury had on headphones and speakers blared to the rest of the courtroom for about an hour and a half.

“You have to know how to be sexually excited,” Jeffs said in the recording. “Everyone assists. Help one another.”

The prosecution claimed based on other documents that the 55-year-old leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was with the group of 12 women during the recording, including the girl whom is he is charged of sexually assaulting when she was 15 and he was 49.

Jeffs spoke of shaving to get ready in the recording, and he said they were meant to be a “heavenly comfort” to him when he was “down and out.”

“You were dressed when you heard the word of God, now you’re undressed and I hope you felt the peace,” Jeffs’ voice said near the end of the recording.

The tape finished at about 6:15 p.m., and 51st District Judge Barbara Walther said court would continue at 8 p.m. to hear the state’s remaining evidence and finish out the seventh day of Jeffs’ trial.

He is accused of also sexually assaulting a girl when she was 12.

The state said it has at least one more tape to be played before finishing with evidence.

Jeffs continually disrupted court proceedings August 2 with objections he raised over another audio recording of himself. Walther said she was considering removing Jeffs from the courtroom while the audio evidence is played to the jury in his child sexual assault trial, but he stayed through the proceedings.

Walther warned Jeffs that if he continues to give “speeches” and interrupt court proceedings he may jeopardize his right to self-representation.

“This is not a matter where you can manipulate these proceedings,” Walther said.

Jeffs interrupted the court and the first audio recording several times. Each time Walther removed the jury.

Jurors listened to Jeffs in an audio recording taken in a car. The garbled sound was barely distinguishable.

“Through prayer and obedience … we learn how to become Zion,” Jeffs said in the recording, using the same distant voice that he had used to object to the admission of religiously related evidence all morning.

Walther also told Jeffs that repeated interruptions could lead to his removal from the courtroom.

A ruling by another judge denied a motion Jeffs filed to remove Walther — his third attempt to have her recused — and the judge issued sanctions so that Jeffs would incur the state’s cost in fighting Jeffs’ motion.

Jeffs also protested the state reading church documents taken in the 2008 raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch.

Under questioning from special prosecutor Eric Nichols, Texas Ranger Nick Hanna said that terms such as “heavenly comfort wife” and “drawing close” as stated in the documents suggest physical affection.

Jeffs has objected to the interpretation.

His continued objections led to Nichols throwing down a file on the prosecutors’ table.

The documents have given descriptions of lessons that Jeffs gave to his “spiritual” or “celestial” wives. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints practices polygamy.

“I called in (two FLDS women) and had them touch me,” states a document the prosecution said was written by Jeffs. “They felt a heavenly fire as a witness, and the Lord showed me that they were prepared to go forward and witness greater heavenly things.”

Records shown August 2 state that Jeffs unofficially “married” a 14-year-old girl when he was 48. Prosecutors allege Jeffs sexually assaulted the girl when she was 15. Based on evidence, the girl’s baby was allegedly fathered by Jeffs.

An expert in family law called by the prosecution testified August 2 that Jeffs was never legally married to the 12-year-old and 15-year-old girls he is accused of sexually assaulting. After Jack Sampson, a law professor at University of Texas School of Law, gave that as his opinion, Jeffs objected to the use of a legal definition of marriage in preference to the definition of marriage held by the FLDS.

“We are delving into something as though man’s law was more important than God’s law,” Jeffs said.

Going into the seventh day of the trial, in which Jeffs faces two counts of sexual assault of a child, the prosecution continued calling witnesses and building its case against the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After Sampson testified about the legal definition of marriage, Hanna was called to the stand for a second time to testify about records seized in the April 2008 raid of the FLDS ranch near Eldorado.

Jeffs on August 1 made his third failed try to remove Walther, using a written motion of recusal styled as a message from God to Walther, delivered by Jeffs through a revelation he claimed to have experienced July 31. He continued to object to various exhibits brought forward by Nichols, arguing that his right to practice his religion freely is being trampled by the trial.

Nichols told the jury that Jeffs as an individual is on trial, not his religion.