Warren Jeffs

Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs will have his first chance at parole less than three years from now.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said Monday it had scheduled Jeffs' original hearing in November 2010.

"Everyone with a first-degree sex offense has a hearing after three years automatically," said Jim Hatch, parole board spokesman. "It's pursuant to our administrative rules."

The hearing does not mean Jeffs would be released from prison at that time. Instead, it is his first chance to appear before the parole board, which reviews his presentence report, criminal history and guidelines on how much time he could serve. There is also input from the Utah Department of Corrections, and victims of a crime are allowed to speak at the hearing.

"The final part for us is to interview the inmate, ask questions and see how they're doing," Hatch said.

Jeffs, 52, was convicted of rape as an accomplice for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. He was sentenced in November to serve two terms of 15 years to life in prison.

A judge has scheduled a hearing in St. George's 5th District Court on April 24, where Jeffs' criminal defense attorneys will argue a motion for a new trial, claiming errors and improprieties with the jury deliberation process during his high-profile trial last year.

Jeffs is currently in the custody of Arizona authorities where he is facing sexual misconduct charges. He is also facing a federal grand jury indictment for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, stemming from his time on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.


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