FLDS leader leaving prison next week

The Salt Lake Tribune/May 1, 2013

A one-time president of the FLDS church is getting out of a Texas prison next week after spending just over a year behind bars.

The Eldorado Success reported Tuesday that 72-year-old Wendell Loy Nielsen will leave prison May 8. Unfortunately, the article is protected by a paywall, so you’ll need a subscription to read it, but in short it says that Nielsen will go free after serving 13 months of a 10-year sentence for bigamy.

Nielsen briefly served as the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before Warren Jeffs reclaimed the office from his jail cell in 2011.

A judge sentenced Nielsen to prison in March 2012 for marrying three middle-aged women. The sentence came after he went back on a plea bargain that would have given him probation. Nielsen reportedly felt the conditions of his probation were too stiff and asked for trial instead.

A jury ultimately convicted Nielsen of three felony counts of bigamy.

He was one of 12 men charged after a high-profile raid on the FLDS church’s Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas. However, unlike other defendants from the raid, Nielsen didn’t face charges related to underage marriages.

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