Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs is back in jail after spending a day in a Las Vegas hospital.

"He is no longer in the hospital, but I wouldn't be able to tell you if he got transferred to another facility or back to Arizona. That's not our case," Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Jose Montoya said late Wednesday night.

Jeffs, 52, was taken from his cell at the Mohave County Jail in Kingman, Ariz., to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday after authorities said his health was deteriorating.

"Our jail staff observed him being lethargic," Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter told the Deseret News. "Upon further observation, he was in a weakened state of health. He was acting in a convulsive state like he was shaking, and he was running a fever."

Jeffs was first taken to a Kingman hospital and then flown by medical helicopter to Las Vegas, where police put him under heavy guard. The FLDS leader's exact medical problem has not been disclosed.

"It does not appear to be life threatening," Carter said Wednesday.

Jeffs has been under a medical/suicide watch in the Mohave County Jail since he arrived there on Feb. 26. Carter said that Jeffs may have lost some weight since he arrived, but he has been eating sporadically.

While he was awaiting trial in Utah, authorities hospitalized Jeffs after he attempted suicide in the Purgatory Jail. The FLDS leader also developed health problems from a self-imposed fast and ulcers on his knees from spending so much time praying. Washington County sheriff's deputies put Jeffs in isolation and under 24-hour-a-day observation.

"It required a concerted effort on the part of our health-care providers and our staff," Washington County Undersheriff Jake Adams told the Deseret News. "Everyone involved had to keep close tabs on the situation to make sure it didn't get away from us."

Beyond health problems, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said it had numerous security risks surrounding the inmate who was once on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

"There have been threats, according to (Jeffs), that have been made against his life, and we took those seriously," Adams said.

Purgatory authorities briefed Mohave County authorities on Jeffs' security and health issues before he was transported from the Utah State Prison to the jail in Kingman. Jeffs is serving a pair of 5-to-life sentences for rape as an accomplice. He was convicted in St. George last year for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

In Arizona, Jeffs is facing charges of sexual conduct with a minor as an accomplice, accusing him of performing more underage marriages. Jeffs was scheduled to appear Friday in a Kingman court, where a judge is expected to consider a request by his defense team to remand the case to the grand jury. Incest charges already have been dropped in the case.

The hearing has been continued, but not because of Jeffs' medical issues. The judge is handling a jury trial that is taking longer than anticipated, court clerks said.


Contributing: Aaron Falk


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com