Aug 24, 2016

Polygamous sect members won't be released before trial

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two polygamous sect members accused in a food-stamp fraud case will stay in jail after violating their supervised release at the direction of imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs.

U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart decided Tuesday the men can't be trusted to put court orders ahead of instructions from a religious figure.

Prosecutors said they violated the conditions of their release by meeting with each other.

Defense attorneys for John Wayman and Seth Jeffs argued the two leaders met only to reassure rattled members of the group, not discuss the case or plan an escape.

But Stewart seems skeptical after another suspect in the case escaped supervised release this summer. Prosecutors say they believe top-ranking leader Lyle Jeffs is using a network of hiding houses and loads of cash to remain a fugitive.

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