Grand jurors begin sifting through YFZ Ranch evidence
Schleicher County grand jurors met Wednesday, June 25th behind police barricades, protected by the most elaborate security measures ever seen in Eldorado. The jury began the daunting task of sifting through a mountain of evidence seized during the April 3, 2008 raid at the YFZ Ranch.
Judge Barbara Walther appointed the Office of Texas Attorney General to take over as prosecutor in the YFZ case. The Success has learned that Deputy Attorney General Eric Nichols has been as lead prosecutor.
A number of witnesses came and went throughout the day, including several unidentified women who, judging by their long prairie-style dresses, appeared to be from the YFZ Ranch.
Still, many close to the investigation do not expect the grand jury to hand down any indictments this week.
Randy announces first annual “Frumpies”
To say that we’ve been overrun by news media here in Eldorado would be akin to saying that the universe is a big place One thing you notice straight away when the national news media swarms into town is that almost everyone, except perhaps for the correspondents or “talking heads” you see on camera, is in serious need of a wardrobe makeover. Maybe that comes from living out of a car and subsisting on Vienna sausages and saltine crackers while waiting long hours for press briefings with nothing to keep you awake but another gallon of coffee and the prospect of a looming deadline.
Not that I’m a fashion plate. But, at least now I have an excuse. I’m trying to look like the big guys who are...you know, frumpy.
So, when I decided it was time for me to award the good and bad reporting I’ve seen and read over the past few weeks, I decided there could be no better name that the Frumpy Award.
So, without further delay, the Frumpy for worst impersonation of an unbiased reporter goes to Nancy Perkins of the Deseret Morning News.
Lull in YFZ case likened to calm before a storm
Next grand jury meeting slated July 22
With last week’s grand jury meeting in the history books and the next one not scheduled until Tuesday, July 22nd, an uneasy calm has settled over Eldorado. Most, if not all, of the reporters and TV crews have left town in pursuit of more promising stories. But they’ll be back, no doubt, as soon as the grand jury convenes again.
“It’s sort of like the calm before the storm,” one veteran investigator said last week. “Kind of like being in the eye of a hurricane. You’re glad for the break but you know the second phase is coming like a freight train.”
The Success has learned that investigators are only now beginning to link names of parents and children listed in record books seized during the YFZ raid with DNA evidence collected under a search warrant issued by Judge Barbara Walther.
And, at least one attorney connected with the case expects multiple indictments will flow from the grand jury possibly as soon as the July 22 scheduled meeting.
FLDS businesses branching out across Texas
Followers of FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs are beginning to look for work outside the boundaries of the YFZ Ranch where so many of them stayed busy erecting numerous massive residential and shop buildings prior to the now famous April 3rd raid.
Many of the families of the 450+ children removed from the property during the raid have yet to return to the ranch. Instead, their immediate families have settled into San Angelo, San Antonio and other Texas cities where the men have begun forming companies and looking for work in the construction trades.
The San Angelo Standard-Times reported last week that one such company bid on cabinet work for a pair of correctional facilities to be constructed in Tom Green County.
Senate Judiciary Committee to probe alleged FLDS crimes
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) renewed his call this week for a federal inquiry into organized criminal activity within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). And, Reid has apparently garnered the support of enough senators to lead to a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The meeting, still in the planning stages, could be held as early as Thursday, July 24th.
Reid, whose initial call for a federal task force a few months ago was rebuffed by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, has significantly increased the pressure on the DOJ to the point that newly appointed Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey seems to be warming to the idea, if not outright embracing it.
Grand Jury meets Tuesday
Schleicher County grand jurors are slated to meet again on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 to review evidence gathered during the April 3, 2008 raid at the YFZ Ranch.
The jury first met on June 2, 2008 when they handed down 18 indictments unrelated to the YFZ case.
The Jurors next met on June 25 in a day-long session that was reportedly devoted entirely to the YFZ investigation.