Warren Jeffs Gets New Trial in Rape Case

Jury in polygamist leader's trial got bad instructions: court
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Suggested by anothernewsjunkie
Posted Jul 27, 2010 12:34 PM CDT
Warren Jeffs Gets New Trial in Rape Case
Warren Jeffs in the courtroom during a preliminary hearing in St. George, Utah, Dec. 14, 2006.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, who has been serving 10 years to life for being an accessory to rape, was granted a new trial today, the Deseret News reports. The Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the jury instructions delivered during Jeffs' 2007 trial were faulty. "We regret the effect our opinion today may have on the victim of the underlying crime, to whom we do not wish to cause additional pain," the opinion reads.

The case centers on the "spiritual marriage" of a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin; Elissa Wall testified that Jeffs told her to obey her husband "without question." The supreme court said today that the trial judge made "serious errors" in his jury instructions, which focused on Jeffs rather than the husband, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Prosecutors have not decided how to proceed. For more on Jeffs, who is no longer facing sex-related charges in Arizona but is wanted in Texas, click here.
(Read more Warren Jeffs stories.)

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