crimesider

Warren Jeffs' appeal dismissed; another FLDS leader is convicted of bigamy

Warren Jeffs, Aug. 9, 2011
AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice

(CBS/AP) AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas court has dismissed the appeal of Warren Jeffs saying the polygamist sect leader convicted of sexual assault made almost no progress on his case.

The 3rd District Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday wrote that Jeffs, the head of  the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has failed to meet filing deadlines and has altogether not responded to notices from the court.

Jeffs is serving a life sentence after being convicted last year of sexually assaulting two of his underage brides at the remote West Texas ranch built by his followers.

Jeffs has represented himself since firing the last of a revolving door of lawyers during his criminal trial.

On Wednesday, a West Texas jury found a former lieutenant to Jeffs, Wendell Loy Nielsen, guilty of three counts of bigamy.

Prosecutors had accused the 71-year-old Nielsen of unlawfully marrying three women besides his legal wife. His defense attorney had argued that "celestial marriages" weren't a violation of state bigamy laws.

Nielsen is the former president of the FLDS church. He was one of 12 people indicted after a 2008 raid on the sect's ranch.

Nielsen faces up to 10 years in prison after rejecting a deal last year that would have allowed him to avoid jail.

Complete coverage of Warren Jeffs on Crimesider

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App