Ex-FLDS president takes plea deal on bigamy charge

Oct 26 2011 - 11:25am

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- A former leader in the polygamist church run by Warren Jeffs has pleaded no contest to charges of bigamy in exchange for probation.

An attorney for Wendell Loy Nielsen confirmed the plea deal Wednesday. The 70-year-old is the former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Nielsen was sentenced to 10 years of probation. He was indicted on three counts of bigamy in Schleicher County following the 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch, which led to charges against Jeffs and 11 of his followers.

Jeffs was convicted in August and sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting two of his child brides. Prosecutors said Jeffs had two dozen underage wives in all.


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