Jury to Begin Deliberating Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs' Sentence

Closing arguments will begin Tuesday morning in the sentence hearing of Warren Jeff’s trial. The state and defense will have 30 minutes to present closing arguments and thereafter, the jurors are scheduled to deliberate.

Last week, a 10-woman, two-man Texas jury convicted Jeffs of sexually assaulting two underage girls he took as “spiritual wives.” If served consecutively, the two counts of sexual assault could result in a maximum life sentence in prison.

Monday marked the third full day of the penalty phase. Both sides rested their cases–the prosecution pushed for the maximum sentence by introducing additional damning evidence of Jeffs having sexual intercourse with underage girls, while the defense chose not to call any witnesses.

The state played a tape in which Jeffs telling a group of girls how to please him sexually.

Prosecutors also played a 2004 audiotape which they argued demonstrates Jeffs had sex with five young girls and encouraged group sex, reported CNN. Jurors heard Jeffs telling the girls they “need to be excited,” and if they refused him, in what he called the “heavenly sessions,” they would be “rejected by God.”

The state also introduced summary photos of Jeffs kissing his young wives.

Prosecutors read a document written by Jeffs that revealed the “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints intended on taking a 13-year-old girl as his “spiritual wife.”

‘“If the world knew this is what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree.’ Did I read that correctly?” assistant prosecutor Fields Alexander asked FBI Agent John Broadway, who testified about the document.

The state told jurors that Jeffs was involved in 550 bigamous marriages, including 67 young girls. It was revealed that Jeffs had 78 unlawful wives, of whom 24 were underage at the time of the marriage.

Since 2002, Jeffs led the LDS church and was considered by more than 10,000 followers as God’s spokesman on Earth.