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Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was never in a coma, says official

Warren Jeffs Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls, one younger than 17 and one younger than 14. His followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon offshoot, believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven and see Jeffs as God's earthly spokesman. The charges came after a massive 2008 raid of the church's remote West Texas ranch.
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Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was never in a coma, says official
Warren Jeffs
CBS/AP

(CBS/KYTX) HOUSTON - Prison officials told a CBS Texas station that Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs was never in a coma.

Pictures: Religious leaders in trouble

"Although some reports had stated he was in a medically induced coma that was not the case although he was sedated," TDCJ Spokesperson Michelle Lyons told KYTX-TV. "He has been responsive today."

The 55-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was sentenced to life and will not be eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old.

He was life-flighted at noon Tuesday from East Texas Medical Center in Tyler to the University of Texas Medical Branch prison hospital in Galveston. Jeffs had been at ETMC since Sunday when he was rushed there because medical staff became concerned about his health.

"He was taking in some fluids and some food but he was not eating enough or drinking enough," Lyons told the station.

Lyons, with the Texas prison system, says Jeffs had been fasting and told prison officials he was not on a hunger strike. But if prisoners go on a hunger strike the prison says it can take action.

"We do have a policy in place where medical professionals can evaluate the situation and if it's medically necessary they can move to force feed the inmate," Lyons said.

Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls, one younger than 17 and one younger than 14. His followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon offshoot, believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven and see Jeffs as God's earthly spokesman.

Jeffs is expected to make a full recovery and will remain in the prison hospital in Galveston until he's ready to be put back in a cell.

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