SAN ANGELO, Texas - Members of the jury for the trial against polygamy leader Warren Jeffs has been selected in west Texas.
Two men and 10 women were picked to serve on the jury.
As an unrelenting heat wave continues to bake west Texas, the hottest story in this part of the Lone Star State continues to be the trial of polygamous prophet Warren Steed Jeffs. For a second day, the often-tedious process of selecting a jury continues to be the focus in the courtroom of Judge Barbara Walther.
On Monday, 280 prospective jurors packed the historic old courthouse in the town of San Angelo. That number was cut down to 207 by the day's end. More probing questions about attitudes, biases and media exposure will be asked by defense attorneys and prosecutors Tuesday.
Jeffs is, of course, charged with sexually assaulting two underage girls whom he allegedly took as "plural brides" at his isolated and gated Yearning for Zion (YFZ) ranch in Eldorado.
During previous court appearances by Jeffs in the states of Utah, Arizona and here in Texas, dozens of his followers -- both men and women -- have gathered in the courtrooms to show their continuing support for their incarcerated leader. During this jury-selection process only three of his male followers have been in attendance and sources have told me that Jeffs has ordered his faithful to stay away from the proceeding.
Also in attendance during the last two days has been Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He said he could not comment when asked whether Jeffs fathered children with the two girls at the center of the state's case. Abbott also declined to comment on persistent rumors that prosecutors have in their possession some sort of audio tape said to have been recorded while Jeffs was allegedly assaulting one of the underage girls.