Jeffs' defense wants to kill evidence from Texas raid

Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs

KINGMAN - Attorneys for polygamous leader Warren Jeffs will move to suppress any evidence brought before the court from the raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas.

The warning - given to the Mohave County Superior Courts, the Mohave County Attorney and the Arizona Attorney General - came in the defense's response to an objection by the state to a public records request by the defense.

"For the Court's information, Mr. Jeffs will be moving to suppress any and all evidence obtained from the raid and search of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints property in the state of Texas," the defense states.

According to court records, the defense made a public records request on May 1 to the Attorney General's Office for copies of newspaper articles about the phone call that started the Texas raid possibility being a hoax.

The defense "made a public records request to gather information concerning these hoax claims and to show that the raid and search of the FLDS property in Texas was illegal and the fruits thereof must be suppressed."

The Attorney General's Office filed an objection to the request, stating that the request "circumvents the criminal discovery rules."

On Friday, the defense responded, saying, "it is well settled under Arizona law that a person making a public records request need not show any reason, purpose, relevance, or that the materials requested would or would not be discoverable in any sort of criminal or civil litigation."

"It is becoming more and more apparent that the Texas raid was based on a hoax telephone call containing false accusations of abuse," the defense states. "Published newspaper articles indicate that similar charges were made regarding the Colorado City/Hildale community, and were determined to be unworthy of belief."

The defense also said "the state needs to be made aware that a defendant does not have to ask permission from the state in order to gather information in preparation for his defense."

Last week, Judge Steven Conn dismissed two charges of incest against Jeffs in a written ruling. Both sides are still awaiting a ruling on a motion by the defense to remand the case back to a grand jury and a date for the next hearing.