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Arizona authorities ready for Jeffs’ trial in Kingman

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan has made a reservation for Warren Jeffs, the church sect leader whose next destination is Kingman following his sentencing for sex offenses in Utah.

Sheahan months ago selected the county jail cell where Jeffs, 51, will be held in solitary confinement while awaiting trial in Kingman.

Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been indicted in four Mohave County criminal cases.

He is being prosecuted in Arizona for allegedly using his church authority to assign underage women to male adults in spiritual-sexual unions.

Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith expects Jeffs to be transported to Kingman within two to five weeks. Smith said two of his four cases against Jeffs may have to be dismissed because of cooperation and credibility problems with the alleged victims. One has refused to testify for the state and the other, Smith concedes, was involved in an extortion effort that remains under investigation.

That would leave the two most recent indictments Smith obtained from the grand jury. In those separate cases Jeffs is charged with two counts each of sexual conduct with a minor and incest for arranging the unions of underage girls and male adults.

Smith said one case involves a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man and the other involves a 16-year-old girl and a 51-year-old man. Smith said the cases are similar to the Utah matter in that relatives are paired in the church-sanctioned unions.

Sheahan said Jeffs will be segregated from the general population of the county jail for security and safety concerns.

He said Jeffs will be allowed to leave his cell for up to an hour each day to shower, exercise or use the telephone.

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