Ex-polygamist bishop given 10-year prison term

November 8, 2011 - 7:30 PM

ROBERT LEE, Texas (AP) — A former polygamist bishop convicted of marrying sect leader Warren Jeffs to a 12-year-old girl has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Fredrick Merril Jessop received the maximum sentence Tuesday from a West Texas jury. The 75-year-old was found guilty Monday of performing an illegal wedding ceremony.

The San Angelo Standard Times (http://bit.ly/v31mnm ) reported that jurors deliberated only an hour after closing arguments and testimony in the sentencing phase ended.

Jessop officiated the 2006 ceremony between Jeffs and his underage bride at the Yearning for Zion Ranch, owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Much of the evidence showed to jurors was the same that prosecutors used to convict Jeffs in August on child sex charges. Jeffs is serving a life sentence.