Polygamist leader Jeffs faces sentencing this week

August 8, 2011 - 3:45 AM
Polygamist Leader

Law enforcement officials, left, and right, escort Warren Jeffs, center, out of the Tom Green County Courthouse Friday Aug. 5, 2011, in San Angelo, Texas. Jeffs, a polygamist sect leader convicted of child sexual assault walked out of his sentencing hearing in protest Friday, after reading a statement he claimed was from God. The statement promised a

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — The Texas jury that convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs on child sex assault charges is expected this week to decide his punishment.

Jeffs is due back in court Monday as his sentencing hearing continues. The 55-year-old boycotted the previous two days of proceedings, choosing instead to remain in another room of the courthouse.

Jurors convicted Jeffs last week of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 15, whom he'd taken as brides. He faces up to life in prison.

Jeffs has led the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since 2002.

More than 10,000 followers consider him God's spokesman on Earth. But several former members of the church have testified that Jeffs began ruling the group with a heavy and abusive hand after rising to power.