Warren Jeffs Will Defend Himself

... and the judge sounds just thrilled with the prospect
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2011 7:06 PM CDT
Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs arrives at the Tom Green County Courthouse Thursday.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(Newser) – Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs fired his defense team today and will represent himself on charges that he raped two underage girls at his compound, reports KSL TV. But if it was an attempt to delay the trial, Jeffs is out of luck. "The court is not going to recess these proceedings to let you go to law school," said Judge Barbara Walther, who listened to a long-winded Jeffs speak for about 30 minutes on why his attorneys could not mount a "true defense."

His self-lawyering didn't get off to a great start. He sat silently instead of presenting an opening statement. And when the prosecution presented its case, "Jeffs stared off into space, appearing not to be paying attention," reports the AP. The judge then scolded him again. "You've sat here now for an hour and not said a word," she said, warning him he could be headed for a "very bad result." If convicted, he faces life in prison. Also today, prosecutors said they have an audio recording of him raping a 12-year-old girl.

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