Discrimination case against Colorado City 'going as we expect,' lawyer says

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Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix is home to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. (Source: Derrick Neill via 123 RF) Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix is home to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. (Source: Derrick Neill via 123 RF)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Week three of the Federal Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale wrapped up in Phoenix's federal court Thursday.

The two towns on the Utah/Arizona border have allegedly long been controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, say Justice Department lawyers.

"We have the federal government and all its resources focused on a town with less than 10,000 people," said defense attorney Jeff Matura, who is representing Colorado City in the case. "It is going as we expect."

Department of Justice lawyers continue to press their case that the twin border towns are controlled by the FLDS church and that non-FLDS residents face extreme discrimination and other ideologically-based persecution.

Lawyers for the federal government have been busy the last three weeks laying out story after story of alleged abuse, misconduct and law breaking on the part of FLDS government officials and police officers in Hildale and Colorado City. 

"Why are they focused on this town?" asked Matura, rhetorically. "We believe it is because they don't approve of their religion."    

Thus far jurors have heard from a number of former FLDS insiders, several relatives of prophet Warren Jeffs, who is serving life in prison for child rape, and an assortment of law officers and expert witnesses.

"We haven't denied in this case that there are problems in these towns going back 10, 12, 15 years," said Matura. "And we are not surprised that they are focusing on past problems."

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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