Former sister-in-law of FLDS prophet testifies

Charlene Wall Jeffs declined to talk about her testimony. (Source: 3TV)

Jurors started the day watching a videotaped deposition with Warren Jeffs' younger brother, Isaac. Citing the First and Fifth amendments dozens and dozens of times, Isaac declined to answer question after question about his prophet brother, about underage marriages and about supporting Jeffs while he was a fugitive on the run.

Government lawyers then called to the stand a woman named Charlene Wall Jeffs. Charlene is the ex-wife of Warren’s brother, Lyle, the man who is now the de-facto leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church.

Charlene told jurors of the heartbreak of being banished from the community by her husband several years ago.

[RELATED: Ex-wife of a leader of polygamous church testifies]

"I was shunned," she said, explaining how she was suddenly cut off from her children and her life.

Charlene also spoke of vast sums of money collected in Hildale and Colorado City to support her fugitive brother-in-law's flight from the law. She said among the contributors were elected officials and local law officers in the twin border towns.

"We all knew where the money was going," she said.

Next up on the stand was Texas Ranger Nick Hanna. He was the case agent in the 2008 raid on Jeffs' YFZ Ranch and the subsequent prosecution of Jeffs in 2011 on child rape charges. Hanna helped DOJ lawyers introduce evidence seized at the YFZ Ranch in West Texas, evidence that included dozens of letters and proclamations from Jeffs to the mayors and City Council members in Hildale and Colorado City telling them how to run the two towns.

The Department of Justice accuses the two communities of being controlled by Jeffs and the FLDS church and discriminating against non-FLDS residents.

Lawyers for the two towns deny the charges.Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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