Just weeks since Warren Jeffs' trial, the polygamist sect leader is in critical condition at a Texas hospital after fasting over the past three days. The convicted child rapist is in a coma and may not survive a source close to Jeffs revealed to ABC News.
The 55-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS) has a history of refusing to eat while imprisoned. Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told ABC Jeffs is in “critical but stable condition.”
According to Lyons, Jeffs is being treated at the East Texas Medical Facility in Tyler, Texas, but she could not “confirm that he [Jeffs] is in a coma.”
Prison officials cannot release information regarding the specific medical conditions for which Jeffs is being treated because of federal health privacy laws.
However Lyons said, “He did indicate to staff that he was fasting, but he is currently being treated for other medical ailments and conditions.”
The FLDS sect leader was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until he is at least 100-years-old. He must serve at least 35 years of the life sentence on one of the child-sex charges and at least 10 years on a second.
On August 4, a Texas jury convicted Jeffs of child sex abuse in connection with his two “spiritual wives.”
Jeffs, 55, was found guilty of sexually assaulting two girls: a 12-year-old, and DNA evidence showed he fathered a child with a 15-year-old. The jury handed down the “guilty” verdict Thursday after three hours of deliberation.
Jeffs was being held at the Powledge Unit – one of the smaller facilities in Texas’ prison system, housing at least one thousand inmates.
He was moved to solitary confinement last week because of the vast amounts of media coverage surrounding his case, prison officials told ABC News.
Officials also said that no threats were made against Jeffs, but because his crimes involved children, they kept him separated from the other inmates.
Jeffs was allowed out every day only to shower and for recreation – he remained in his cell the other 22 hours.
Powledge Unit is located about six hours away from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, which serves as the headquarters for Jeffs’ followers.