Warren Jeffs Sentenced to Life in Prison

Polygamist leader guilty of sexually assaulting two girls in sect

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2011 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The jury in Warren Jeffs' sex abuse trial took all of 40 minutes to decide that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. Jeffs was convicted last week of sexually assaulting two girls in his Texas polygamist sect, and the sentencing phrase wrapped up this morning. Jurors determined that Jeffs should get life in prison on one count and 20 years on another, along with a $10,000 fine, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

"Evidence is this case shows this is not the prosecution of a people, this is the prosecution to protect a people," said a prosecutor in his closing statement. Jeffs, who acted as his own attorney during the regular trial, chose not to attend the sentencing phase. His new attorney did not call any witnesses to defend him. Prosecutors maintained that Jeffs had 78 wives, two dozen of whom were 16 or younger when he married them.

Warren Jeffs, right, is escorted out of the Tom Green County Courthouse Friday.
Warren Jeffs, right, is escorted out of the Tom Green County Courthouse Friday.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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