Warren Jeffs' phone privileges revoked

Prison phone use revoked, authorities say

San Angelo Standard-Times/January 9, 2012

San Angelo, Texas -- Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has had his phone privileges revoked for 90 days after prison authorities concluded he broke rules concerning prison phone use.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice determined that on Christmas Day, Jeffs gave a telephone conference directed at multiple people, which is against the rules for Texas prisons, TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said.

"It was apparent in reviewing the phone calls that he was talking to a group," Lyons said.

Lyons said she didn't have specifics on what was said in the calls but that the calls were each 15 minutes long, the maximum length allowed for a single phone call. Prisoners get 240 phone call minutes each month.

Two people had been stricken from the list of people Jeffs was allowed to call during the investigation, Lyons said. Their identities are not public record, she said.

Jeffs, 56, is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and fathering a child with a 15-year-old girl.

According to former and present members, Jeffs has exercised command of the sect through his brothers.

The FLDS church has also been sending out purported revelations from God through Jeffs to a host of government officials and organizations around the world, some of them to commissioners and judges in Tom Green County.

The letters — which contain descriptions of natural disaster judgments from God if people don't obey directives such as releasing Jeffs — have gone out to counties all over Texas as well.

"They're describing them as these packets of stuff," said Elna Christopher, the spokeswoman for the Texas Association of Counties. "They're sending them all over."

Jeffs still faces a felony bigamy trial that could land him another life sentence.

The trial had been scheduled for February, but now a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for May 21 at 10 a.m. in Tom Green County.

The prosecution sent in a motion asking for more time because of a scheduling conflict. The judge granted the motion.

Wendell Loy Nielsen, a former FLDS president, has also been charged with bigamy, and a pretrial for him for date and venue determination is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 30 in Tom Green County.

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