Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Houston County Courier - November 2008
According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, on Monday, Nov. 24 three defendants who are associated with the YFZ compound in Eldorado, Texas, turned themselves into the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office. All three were indicted on Nov. 12.
The defendants Fredrick Merril Jessop, 72, was charged with one count of conducting an unlawful marriage ceremony involving a minor, which is a third-degree felony; Wendell Loy Nielsen, 68, was charged with three separate counts of third-degree felony bigamy and Leroy Johnson Steed, 42, was charged with one count of sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony (because it involves a prohibited marriage); one count of second-degree felony bigamy; one count of third-degree felony bigamy; and one count of tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony.
“The Schleicher County grand jury also returned a first-degree felony charge against Warren Jeffs, who was indicted for sexually assaulting a child.
Jeffs is currently incarcerated in Arizona. Jeffs was indicted in July 2008 on an additional charge of sexually assaulting a child, and was indicted in August 2008 on a charge of first-degree bigamy.”
“To date, 12 people associated with the polygamist compound in Eldorado have been indicted as part of the ongoing and continuing criminal investigation.”
“Today’s arrests reflect a nearly two-week-long effort by the Texas Rangers and the Texas Attorney General’s Office to arrange for the defendants’ arrests.”
“The charges against these defendants’ resulted from a cooperative effort among the Texas Attorney General's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office, 51st Judicial District Attorney Steve Lupton, and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Richard B. Roper.”