Because one of the alleged victims refuses to testify against Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, the Mohave County attorney is dropping the case.
In a motion to dismiss filed in Mohave County Superior Court, Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith asks a judge to drop the sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor cases with prejudice. In the motion, Smith writes that the victim "has been contacted and has indicated through her attorney, Mik Jordahl, that she would not cooperate or testify in the present case."
"The state cannot prove its case without the testimony of the victim," Smith wrote in the court document. "For this reason, the state requests this case be dismissed with prejudice at this time."
Dismissing a case "with prejudice" means that it likely will not be refiled again.
Smith has acknowledged in the past this case is on shaky ground. He dismissed the case against FLDS member Randy Barlow because the alleged victim refused to cooperate. In a 2006 letter to the judge in the case, Candi Shapley described herself as "the supposed victim of a case that has been blown out of proportion in an effort to get Warren Jeffs."
"I am not interested in making trouble or being the cause of trouble for Warren Jeffs or Randy Barlow or anyone else," Shapley stated in the letter. "I just want to be done with it."
A judge is expected to rule on the motion during a hearing in Kingman, Ariz., on Wednesday. If the judge dismisses the case, Jeffs still would be facing eight felony counts involving arranged marriages between teenage girls and adult male members of the FLDS Church. Jeffs is facing four counts of sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of incest in two separate cases.Jeffs is now serving two 5-to-life terms after being convicted of rape as an accomplice for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. His criminal defense attorneys in Utah are seeking a new trial, arguing errors and improprieties in the jury deliberation process. A motion on that will be heard in St. George's 5th District Court on April 24.
Contributing: Aaron Royster, Kingman Daily Miner
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