Colorado City suspects turn themselves in

KINGMAN ­ A group of Colorado City men who are facing a variety of felony charges concerning alleged sexual abuse with minors turned themselves in to Mohave County Sheriff's deputies at the Mohave County Jail Monday morning.

Matt Smith, Mohave County Chief Attorney, said the men were surrendering and being booked while David Romaine Bateman, 48, of Colorado City, was being arraigned on similar felony charges, all of which stem from alleged "spiritual" but unlawful, unrecorded marriages to girls younger than 18.

"All of them are surrendering at the jail and being booked right now," Smith said. He said only one of the men ­ some of whom were indicted on Thursday and others a couple of weeks prior ­ would not be turning himself in on Monday. That man has said he will turn himself over to authorities in the near future, Smith said.

All of the men are residents of the polygamy-supporting Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community of Colorado City.

The county indicted the FLDS leader, Warren Jeffs, on similar charges last month, but has been unable to locate him. Both Mohave County and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are seeking information on Jeffs' whereabouts.

The indictments were based on the work of Mohave County Attorney Special Investigator Gary Engels, information provided by the Attorney General's office, and with the cooperation of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, particularly Sheriff Tom Sheahan, according to the Mohave County Attorney's Office.

The four men who were indicted most recently by a Mohave County Grand Jury, three of whom surrendered to the Mohave County Jail on Monday, are:

• Bateman, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, for conduct that allegedly occurred in 2001 or early 2002. Both are Class 6 felonies, punishable by four months to two years in prison or probation at the judge's discretion, according to the Mohave County Attorney's office. Bateman was arraigned in Mohave County Superior Court on Monday. So far, he is the only one who has appeared at an arraignment.

• Donald Robert Barlow, 48, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, for actions that allegedly occurred in 1999 or early 2000.

• Terry Darger Barlow, 23, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, for conduct that allegedly occurred in 2000.

• Rodney Hans Holm, 38, three counts of sexual conduct with a minor for actions allegedly occurring between Dec. 1, 1998, and March 31, 1999. Holm is a former police officer for Colorado City/Hildale, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

Others who surrendered voluntarily on Monday, and the charges they are facing are:

• Vergel Bryce Jessop, 45, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

• Dale Evans Barlow, 47, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, and conspiracy to commit child abuse, a Class 3 felony.

• Randolph Joseph Barlow, 32, two counts of sexual assault, a Class 2 felony, and sexual conduct with a minor.

• Kelly Fischer, 38, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge James E. Chavez stipulated $2,500 cash bonds in every case except for Randy Barlow, who posted a $7,500 cash bond.