Three men from YFZ surrender themselves at Sheriff’s Office
Total of eight now accused of Sexual Assault of a Child
Abram Harker Jeffs, 37, Lehi Barlow Jeffs, a.k.a. Lehi Barlow Allred, 29, and Keith William Dutson, Jr., 23, surrendered themselves Monday, September 29, 2008 at the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Department, after being indicted last week by a Schleicher County grand jury.
Abram Harker Jeffs and Lehi Barlow Jeffs stand accused of Sexual Assault of A child and Bigamy. Keith William Dutson is accused of Sexual Assault of a Child. The charges are all 1st Degree felonies.
The three men were promptly bailed out of jail on surety bonds.
Abram Harker Jeffs and Lehi Barlow Jeffs, were each released on a $100,000 bond for the Sexual Assault charges and a $10,000 for the Bigamy charges.
FLDS church members sue in federal court to regain control of UEP trust
Members of a the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) filed suit in federal court this week in an effort to regain control of the United Effort Plan trust.
The lawsuit alleges that Utah violated the group’s civil rights in 2005 when the state courts took control of the trust and appointed Special Fiduciary Bruce Wisan to oversee its daily operations. The lawsuit also claims that state oversight has “secularized” the church’s trust and is threatening the religious group’s lifestyle.
The UEP Trust controls and estimated $120 million in property and residences in the twin cities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona.
The lawsuit further alleges, “Utah, through its attorney general and the 3rd District Court, is interfering in obvious ways with the exercise of religion by the members of the FLDS church.”
Utah judge removes FLDS attorney from lawsuit for control of UEP trust
Utah district court judge Denise Lindberg ousted attorney Rodney Parker and his law firm, Snow, Christensen & Martineau, from a lawsuit brought against the United Effort Plan Trust. The judge found that Parker had represented the trust for several years and ruled that he may not now represent people bringing legal action against the trust. The judge said it would be inappropriate for Parker to use information he gained as counsel against the trust.
YFZ grand jury meets again
Schleicher County grand jurors met again on Wednesday, November 12, to consider evidence in the YFZ Ranch case. No action was announced prior to the time The Success went to press. Readers are encouraged to check the newspaper’s website at www.myeldorado.net for grand jury updates.
The meeting was the fifth session for the grand jurors and the first since the jury’s term was extended by three months. The jury is slated to one final time on December 16th. Prior to Wednesday’s session, the jury had indicted eight men on charges of Sexual Assault of a Child. There are other various charges of bigamy and failure to report abuse.
Once again, results of Wednesday’s grand jury came after The Success went to press. Updates will be posted on the Internet at www.myeldorado.net.
Arizona judge orders Texas lawmen to talk to Jeffs attorney
Arizona judge Steven Conn ordered Texas lawmen, including Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran, Texas Ranger Brooks Long and Schleicher County Reserve Deputy John Conner, to meet with attorney’s representing jailed FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs and answer questions concerning the raid at the YFZ Ranch. Conn’s order came last week despite the fact that he has no jurisdiction in Texas and his orders carry no weight here.
Warren Jeffs is awaiting trial in Arizona on charges that he arranged and ordered a marriage between one of his underage female followers and one of her adult cousins. He was previously convicted on similar charges in Utah where he received two 5-year-to-life sentences.
Jeffs’ lawyer Michael Picaretta says he wants to make sure that no evidence seized during the YFZ raid is used against his client. No problem, said Arizona’s Assistant Attorney General Timothy Linnins who assured the judge that nothing seized in the Texas raid will be introduced.
Grand Jury hands down nine more indictments
Schleicher County grand jurors met Wednesday, November 12, 2008 and handed down nine indictments against four defendants associated with the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, according to a statement issued that afternoon by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“One of the three defendants was indicted for conducting an unlawful marriage ceremony involving a minor, which is a third-degree felony,” Abbott stated. “A second defendant was indicted on three counts of third-degree bigamy. The third defendant was indicted on four charges: first-degree felony bigamy, second-degree felony bigamy, third-degree felony bigamy, and tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony.”