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Jeffs Competent to Stand Trial but Mentally Ill

Jeffs Competent to Stand Trial but Mentally Ill

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Team CoveragePolygamist leader Warren Jeffs may be competent to stand trial, but he is mentally ill. That's the conclusion of a court-ordered mental exam which was released by a judge today.

The report reveals some insight into Jeff's life in jail. According to the report unsealed today, Warren Jeffs has been struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety. The examiner noted Jeffs' intense religious behavior in jail. He is sometimes on his knees praying for hours at a time, without moving. In fact, the examiner noted that Jeffs had ulcers on both knees because of the kneeling. The evaluator's conclusion was, "Jeffs has 'Depressive Disorder,' which includes significant features of agitation and depression."

The judge secretly ordered the mental exam following Jeffs' court appearance in St. George on March 27. His attorneys asked for the exam because they noticed what reporters and spectators also observed: The polygamist leader seemed out of it, unfocused, nodding off, even drooling at times. The examination was conducted by a Salt Lake firm called Associated Behavior Consultants.

The report says Jeffs was taking psychiatric medications while in jail, but he stopped before the exam.

Even though Jeff's was diagnosed with a mental illness, the judge ruled that he is competent to stand trial.

The examiner also concluded Jeffs is mentally competent to understand the rape charges against him, to behave appropriately in court and to consult with his attorneys to assist his own defense.

His trial has been set for September.

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