Polygamist Hearing Has Chaotic First Day

State plans to relocate sect's 416 children
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 5:07 PM CDT
In this Thursday, April 17, 2008 sketch by artist Brigitte Woosley, family members of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are seen during a child custody hearing.   (AP Photo/Artist Brigitte Woosley)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Lawyers for the state of Texas told a chaotic, objection-filled hearing today they would press for psychiatric evaluations and genetic testing of all members of a polygamist sect, the New York Times reports. On the first day of a custody hearing to determine the fate of the sect's 416 children, the state said it also plans to relocate the youths to another part of Texas for the duration of the trial.

Hundreds of lawyers present in the courtroom and watching by live video feed brought a flood of objections while the state tried to present evidence. "It is a huge logistical problem today,” said Tom Vick, who helped secure lawyers for the children. The state hopes to strip parents of custody and place the children in foster homes. The hearing continues today.