Jeffs hires SLC lawyers to plead his case
Warren Jeffs tells his closest followers to, “Answer them nothing,” when questioned in a court of law. At least that’s what people who used to follow the fundamentalist Mormon leader tell reporters. But, Jeffs apparently isn’t prepared to stand silently before a district judge and risk going to prison for the rest of his life.
Word came this week that Jeffs, 51, has hired two experienced trial lawyers, Walter Bugden and Tara Issacson of Salt Lake City, to defend him against two charges of rape as an accomplice.
Jeffs remains in Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane, Utah. He appeared Monday via closed-circuit TV link before 5th District Judge James L. Shumate and answered in the affirmative when asked if he had hired legal counsel.
At that time, the judge postponed a preliminary hearing, previously scheduled for Sept. 19, 2006. Jeffs and his new a attorneys are slated to appear before Shumate on Sept. 27 at which time a new preliminary hearing is to be scheduled. It is unknown if bail will be discussed at that time.
Lawmen gather in Eldorado to discuss Warren Jeffs case
YFZ Ranch still of interest to authorities
Lawmen and prosecutors from Arizona and Texas met Monday, September 18, 2006 in Eldorado to compare notes and discuss the ongoing investigation of Warren Jeffs and his reclusive followers.
Jeffs was jailed last month after being intercepted on U.S. Interstate Highway 15 near Las Vegas, ending his four month stint on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. Since that time prosecutors in Utah and Arizona have agreed on how to proceed with state charges against Jeffs with Utah getting the first opportunity to bring Jeffs to trial. He stands accused in the Beehive State on two charges of rape as an accomplice that stem from his involvement in arranging and performing a marriage between one of his male followers and an underage girl.
What happens to Warren Jeffs, when and if the state charges in Utah and Arizona are satisfied, was the primary topic of discussion between Sheriff David Doran, Texas Ranger Sergeant Brooks Long, FBI Special Agents Rod Foster and Richard Fagan, and Deputy U.S. Attorney Joe Lodge, as they met at the Schleicher County Law Enforcement Center.
Cold cash, fast cars and tear-stained letters
A glimpse inside Jeffs’ fugitive lifestyle
Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, remains behind bars this week in the Purgatory Correctional Facility at Hurricane, Utah where he awaits trial on two charges of rape as an accomplice. Jeffs, surrounded by law enforcement officers, appeared in court on Wednesday morning, Oct. 27, 2006, where he heard a prosecutor recite the charges against him. With similar charges pending against Jeffs in Arizona and two federal complaints of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution hanging over his head, officials believe it is unlikely that he will be released on bail before all of the charges against him are tested in court.
In the meantime, Jeffs is being kept in an austere jail cell — a far cry from the luxurious lifestyle he adopted after ascending to the leadership of the FLDS church in 2002.
Authorities told The Success this week that they discovered a treasure trove of evidence in the 2006 Cadillac Escalade Jeffs was riding in at the time of his arrest. Laptop computers, thumb drives and other data storage devices were among the evidence lawmen confiscated from the shiny red Cadillac. While each of items are of great interest to law enforcement officials, one seasoned investigator said he was stunned by other things found in the SUV. Things like ten sets of keys to other luxury vehicles and stacks of unread letters in which distraught church members Jeffs had excommunicated begged for forgiveness and asked to be allowed back within the fold.
YFZ settles with wastewater engineer
Glenn Breisch, president of Wasteline Engineering, Inc. of Aledo, TX advised The Success this week that he has released a lien he filed against the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado when ranch officials paid him for design work he had performed for a wastewater treatment plant and a public water supply distribution system, both of which are being built on the YFZ property.
Breisch said was hired last year to provide engineering services to the YFZ and that he was routinely paid in cash. He said he found it odd that ranch officials didn’t want him to come on the property but that they provided him with survey points and he was happy to provide the design work.
Later, however, a dispute arose over the amount of Breisch’s bill. That was about the same time he began receiving his pay by check. Then, a check totaling just less than $8,000 was returned unpaid when the YFZ Ranch’s bank refused to honor the check.
Jeffs accuser already suing him
Salt Lake City attorney Roger Hoole revealed Tuesday that his client, unidentified in court documents only as M.J., is the same woman the State of Utah refers to as Jane Doe in the criminal charges against FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs.
Hoole appeared before Utah’s 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg on Tuesday to discuss matters related to the United Effort Plan Trust, the charitable trust that once acted as the financial arm of Jeffs’ FLDS church.
During the hearing Hoole commented that it might not be advantageous for his client to proceed with her civil case against Jeffs until after his criminal case is over. Hoole didn’t say, but many who are following the case believe that if the woman’s identity is revealed during the civil case, FLDS faithful might put pressure on her or her family members in order to prevent her testimony in the criminal trial.
Hoole filed the personal injury lawsuit on behalf of M.J. in 5th District Court in Iron County, Utah. Then in April of this year Washington County, Utah brought charges of rape as an accomplice against Jeffs in 5th District Court in St. George.
Utah family members mourn child’s death at YFZ Ranch
Joseph Rohbock of St. George, Utah says that the 3-year-old boy killed in a traffic accident at the YFZ Ranch last week was his brother and that he and his family are being kept in the dark about the accident.
Rohbock says the child, identified as Allen Rulon Jeffs, is actually Allen Rulon Rohbock. He says the child’s mother Zevanda Jeffs was first married to former FLDS Prophet Rulon Jeffs but was reassigned to his father, Ron Rohbock, shortly after the elderly Jeffs died in 2002.
According to Joseph Rohbock, Allen Rulon Jeffs was born to Ron and Zevanda Rohbock in 2003, only days before Ron Rohbock was excommunicated from the FLDS Church by its new prophet, Warren Jeffs.
Joseph Rohbock says that Zevanda and her infant son were then reassigned to Warren Jeffs’ brother, Leroy Jeffs, but he, too, was excommunicated from the church. At that point, Zevanda and the child were assigned to another of the prophet’s brothers, Isaac Jeffs. He became the woman’s fourth husband in three years, Rohbock says.
Isaac Jeffs is the man who was driving the 2006 Cadillac Escalade in which Warren Jeffs was riding when the fugitive prophet was apprehended near Las Vegas, Nevada.
Joseph Rohbock told The Success this week that his father, Ron Rohbock, is distraught over the death of his son. Complicating matters is the fact that no one in the FLDS Church hierarchy, or the YFZ Ranch leadership will communicate with the his family, the younger Rohbock said.
The Success has learned that Allen Rulon Jeffs was buried this week at the YFZ Ranch.
Adding to the family’s grief is the uncertainty surrounding the condition of 3-year-old Richard Rulon Jeffs, another of three young boys who were riding in a 1996 Chrysler mini-van when it collided with a boulder located near a roadway on the YFZ Ranch.