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Utah's top court to hear Jeffs' appeal

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 15 2009 1:09 a.m. MDT

The Utah Supreme Court will hear oral arguments appealing the conviction of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who was convicted in 2007 of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in arranging a "spiritual marriage" between a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man.

The hearing will be Nov. 4 at the J. Reuben Clark School of Law on the BYU campus. The Supreme Court routinely visits BYU and the University of Utah so students can see how the high court operates, but the business that is conducted during these visits is not the mock-trial variety, but genuine appeals.

Jeffs is regarded as the leader of the Fundamentalist LDS Church, which practices polygamy. After a lengthy trial in Utah in 2007 during which he was found guilty of the two first-degree felony charges, Jeffs was sentenced to two consecutive prison terms of five years to life behind bars.

In addition, there are other, separate felony charges pending against him in Arizona and Texas. He is being held in the Mojave County Jail in Arizona.

— Linda Thomson

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