Moms Return to Polygamist Ranch

Texas moves their kids to new shelter, plans legal battle
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2008 8:28 PM CDT
139 women have returned to the Eldorado compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, after accompanying the 416 children who were removed by the state two weeks ago.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Nearly 140 women from a polygamist sect returned home today as officials moved their kids to a new shelter, the AP reports. The mothers had joined 416 children who were seized by Texas troopers 2 weeks ago and taken to a historic fort. Today officials moved the kids to a sports center in San Angelo, Texas after the women complained of poor living conditions.

Meanwhile a Texas judge talked to lawyers to organize a Thursday hearing about possible child abuse charges against the sect. "It would seem inefficient to have a witness testify 416 times," judge Barbara Walther said. Not to mention the lawyer logjam: More than 350 have offered to represent the kids for free, and the 139 mothers may also hire attorneys to fight for custody.