Jail Force-Feeds Ailing Sect Leader Jeffs

'Death could be imminent' without medical intervention
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2009 1:42 PM CDT
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound is seen in a 2005 photo, under construction near Eldorado, Texas.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Warren Jeffs began eating of his own accord again today, after being force-fed all weekend by medical staff at the Arizona jail where the polygamist leader is being held, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports. A series of self-imposed fasts have left Jeffs, 53, in such poor health that “death could be imminent without immediate medical intervention,” the jail’s medical director wrote to a judge.

Jeffs is to be evaluated daily, and force-fed whenever necessary. “This has been a continuing problem with his on-and-off eating habits,” said a jail spokesperson. “We’ve had to force feed him in the past.” Jeffs, head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is serving two consecutive 5-years-to-life sentences, and faces further trials concerning two underage marriages he conducted.