Discrimination trial against FLDS towns wrapping up

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The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV) The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

After nearly passing out on the bench and being rushed to the hospital one week ago, Judge Russel Holland was back in the saddle Monday as the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT got back on track after a weeklong delay.

[READ: Judge in FLDS trial falls ill, wheeled out of court]

Holland started the day by asking jurors if they had seen any media coverage over the last seven days.   

The judge was concerned about the widespread coverage of last week's FBI raid in Colorado City and Hildale in which feds were targeting alleged welfare fraud and money laundering inside the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community.

[READ: Children's advocate on FLDS raid: 'It's really about time']

No jurors raised their hands when the judge asked about media exposure and the delayed discrimination case then resumed where it left off last week.

Defense attorneys for the twin border towns are wrapping up their case, calling current officers with the Colorado City Town Marshal's Office.

Sgt. Sam Barlow and Chief David Darger denied the government's claims that the small law enforcement agency is controlled by the FLDS church and discriminates against people who are not FLDS.

"Do you treat people differently?" defense attorney Blake Hamilton asked Johnson.

"Definitely not true," Johnson told the court.
 
The defense is expected to finish up its case on Tuesday.

DOJ lawyers can then present rebuttal witnesses, but that is not expected to take long.

Closing arguments in this high-stakes lawsuit could start as early as Tuesday afternoon.

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


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