- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on a polygamous sect member awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges asking for permission to write letters to imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A polygamous sect member who believes writing to imprisoned sect leader Warren Jeffs is essential to his eternal salvation will be allowed to continue the monthly letters while he awaits trial on food stamp fraud charges.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart Thursday approved Preston Barlow’s request to lift a ban that was put in place after he was arrested on suspicion of violating his pretrial release by being near two co-defendants. He was later released.

Prosecutors agreed to the letter writing arrangement after Judge Stewart mandated that Barlow send copies of his letters to federal prosecutors and barred Barlow from receiving any return coorespondence from Jeffs.

Barlow’s attorney Scott Williams said during a hearing in Salt Lake City that Barlow’s letters are harmless to the case, but vital to his client’s religious beliefs.

___

4:26 a.m.

A polygamous sect member accused in a food stamp fraud case will ask a judge Thursday for permission to write letters to imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs, an act now barred by his conditions of his pretrial release.

Preston Barlow’s says his monthly letters to Jeffs allow him to maintain a connection with his prophet and are essential to his eternal salvation. His attorney Scott Williams says the letters are read by prison staff and that Jeffs doesn’t directly answer.

Prosecutors say the letter writing ban should remain in place because Barlow’s allegiance is to Jeffs, meaning he would flee if told to by Jeffs.

The condition prohibiting the letters was added after Barlow was arrested on suspicion of violating his pretrial release by being near two co-defendants. Defense attorneys denied the allegations and Barlow was released.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide