Former Colorado City Town Marshal: 'It's time for the truth'
"I'm a little embarrassed how much control the church had on me," longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow said. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -
"My job was to protect the church."
That was the testimony Wednesday from longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow.
"The church was everything," Barlow told jurors in the federal discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.
Justice Department lawyers allege the twin border towns are controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its prophet, Warren Jeffs, and that non-FLDS residents are discriminated against.
On the stand, Helaman Barlow told jurors that he signed an immunity agreement with government lawyers because he now admits he committed perjury in previous legal matters.
"I admit to perjury," Barlow said, "and things I'm not real proud of."
Barlow also told jurors that "the Marshal's Office was a tool in the toolbelt of (FLDS) church security."
"To cross the church, I could very well lose my family," Barlow told jurors, explaining why he continued to follow the directions of Jeffs and his brother, Lyle, even after Barlow says he began loss faith.
"I'm a little embarrassed how much control the church had on me," he said.
Barlow told jurors that he left the FLDS church and relinquished his badge in 2012.
"My wife said I can't do it anymore, so we were out," he said.
Outside court, Barlow told me, "My message to this jury is that it's time for the truth."