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Sun, June 16

Judge denies Jeffs' motion

Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs

KINGMAN - Warren Jeffs' attorneys will have to continue to deal with their frustration with the Mohave County Attorney's Office and Texas authorities.

Judge Steven Conn, in a written ruling Monday, denied a motion to strike parts of Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith's response to Jeffs' attorneys' motion to suppress evidence from the raid of the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

Jeffs' attorneys, Michael Piccarreta and Richard Wright, filed a motion to suppress any evidence from the YFZ Ranch and prevent it from being used in the Mohave County case against Jeffs in September.

Smith has said numerous times that he has no plans to use evidence from the Texas raid in his case against Jeffs, but has not put that statement in writing.

Piccarreta argued in court on March 30 that Texas authorities prevented him from discovering when Texas law enforcement officers found out that the phone call that started the raid of the YFZ Ranch was a hoax. During interviews with three Texas law enforcement officers, Texas authorities would only allow the officers to answer questions about what happened during the raid.

The question is when did the Texas officers find out that the information was false and did they act with reckless disregard when they applied for the warrants to search the ranch, Piccarreta said on March 30.

He asked Conn to force the Mohave County Attorney's Office to stipulate which facts were true concerning the phone calls from the Texas raid or order the three Texas law enforcement officers to respond to questions about the phone calls.

Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith argued that Arizona had no choice as to which questions Texas law enforcement officers were allowed to answer.

If Piccarreta and Wright wanted his office to stipulate as to which statements concerning the phone calls were true in lieu of reinterviewing the Texas law enforcement officers, he would be willing to do so, Smith said.

Conn on Monday also denied Piccarreta's request to question Texas law officers further, but left the subject open to reconsideration by the court at a latter date.

The denial was based on the fact that it was unclear whether the officers submitted to an interview with Piccarreta voluntarily or in response to a court deposition order. The difference between a voluntary interview and court ordered deposition could make a difference in whether the court could order a second deposition of the men.


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