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9:10 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Jeffs sentenced in Utah

After being sentenced to five years to life in prison in Utah, Warren Jeffs is coming to Arizona on charges he faces in Mohave County.

"I don't know how long it will take to get him to Arizona, but I believe the defendant and his attorneys want him to appear in Arizona as soon as possible after he is sentenced," Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said.

The Associated Press reported a Utah judge sentenced Jeffs, 51, to five years to life on each charge of rape as an accomplice on Tuesday. The sentences will be served consecutively.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole will decide how long after the 10 years Jeffs will be required to serve. The board's decision is final, cannot be appealed and is not subject to judicial review. Procedural issues are subject to judicial review.

A jury found Jeffs guilty of the two charges on Sept. 25.

As the spiritual leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jeffs arranged the marriage of a 14-year-old follower and her 19-year-old cousin in 2001. The victim testified she felt pressured to have sex with her cousin by Jeffs in order to obtain salvation.

Jeffs will technically be in the Utah State Prison system while being tried in Mohave County, Smith said. The Mohave County Attorney's Office will have to proceed under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, he added.

"After that it will just depend on how long it gets to take to get discovery completed and all the interviews done before we can set a trial date," Smith said.

In Mohave County, Jeffs has been indicted in four separate cases.

In 2005, Jeffs was indicted along with two members of the religious sect located in neighboring towns Colorado City and Hildale, Utah.

Members of the FLDS practice polygamy in marriages arranged by the church prophet in order to receive salvation.

Jeffs technically took over as the prophet in 2002 from his father, though Smith argued in previous trials that Jeffs had assumed the responsibilities earlier while his father was ill.

Jeffs was a co-defendant with Randolph Joseph Barlow. Jeffs is still charged with sexual conduct with a minor as an accomplice and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, both class 6 felonies.

The charges against Barlow were dismissed on Feb. 27 at the request of Smith because the victim and key witness refused to testify.

Jeffs was also a co-defendant with Rodney Hans Holm. Jeffs still faces three counts of sexual conduct with a minor as an accomplice.

The charges against Holm were dismissed without prejudice on Aug. 27 because the victim allegedly engaged in a potential blackmail scheme with her brother. The letter indicating she would not testify against certain defendants if excessive money was given to her brother and another man by one of the members of the FLDS Church, Smith.

Jeffs is still facing charges in the 2005 cases, however Mohave County would first focus on his two 2007 cases, Smith said.

In the 2007 cases, Jeffs is facing four charges of sexual conduct with a minor as an accomplice and four charges of incest as an accomplice related to marriages involving two underage girls. Both indictments alleged Jeffs was an accomplice to the crimes beginning in May 1, 2002, and the last incident is alleged to have occurred Sept. 1, 2003, in Colorado City.

Jeffs was facing a maximum of two years in prison on each sexual conduct with a minor charge, a class 6 felony, and three years nine months in prison on each incest charge, a class 4 felony. The range increased when Jeffs was found guilty of a historical felony in Utah.

Jeffs is also under federal indictment in Utah on charges of fleeing to avoid prosecution for nearly a year and a half.

He was captured during a routine traffic stop last year near Las Vegas.