Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was convicted today on two counts of rape as an accomplice for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin. The jury reached a verdict just hours after one member was replaced for undisclosed reasons, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Jeffs faces 5 years to life in prison; no sentencing date has been set.
Jeffs and his followers listened impassively to the verdict. The five-man, three-woman jury deliberated for 16 hours over 3 days before finding Jeffs guilty of the felony charges, which could carry a life sentence, the AP reports. Jeffs contended that his religious beliefs were on trial, but he "can't say he didn't get a fair trial," said a prosecution investigator.