DOJ close to wrapping up case in FLDS discrimination trial
Department of Justice lawyers are close to wrapping up their case. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -
Week four got underway Monday in the Justice Department's civil rights lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.
DOJ lawyers are reportedly nearing the end of their case.
Monday morning, jurors watched a videotaped deposition with Lyle Jeffs, the powerful bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and younger brother of FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs.
Questioned by government lawyers, Lyle Jeffs repeatedly cited his First Amendment protection against religious discrimination and his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he refused to answer dozens of questions about his imprisoned brother and the alleged control the FLDS church has on Colorado City and Hildale.
Next up on the stand was a Hildale resident named Christopher Jessop.
Like many witnesses before him, Jessop told jurors of being targeted by his FLDS neighbors and FLDS cops because he and his family are not followers of Warren Jeffs, who is locked up for life in Texas for raping two underage girls.
"My reception here from the FLDS has been really quite lousy," Jessop told me during 2014 interview outside his Hildale home.
As we spoke, men in pickup trucks from FLDS church security drove up and down Jessop's street, watching our every move.
On the witness stand Monday, Jessop told jurors that his home has been vandalized, and his tires have been slashed. He also said his teenage son was run down while riding his bike by a hit-and-run driver in a pickup truck.
The boy ended up with serious road burns on his face and torso. The driver fled, but Jessop said the truck was soon located and linked to a member of FLDS church security.
No charges were filed in the hit-and-run case.
Jessop also told jurors of a deep distrust of the Colorado City Town Marshal's Office and its FLDS cops whom Jessop said had gone out of their way to harass him and his family.
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