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Jurors Feel Harassed by Jeffs' Defense Team

Jurors Feel Harassed by Jeffs' Defense Team



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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Jurors who recently convicted a polygamous-sect leader on sex charges have been bothered by phone calls from a private investigator working for the defense.

The calls caused 5th District Judge James Shumate to issue an order barring contact with jurors who don't want to be called.

Warren Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convicted of rape as an accomplice for his role in the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old cousin in 2001.

David Finch, who was jury foreman, said he and others have received unwanted calls from an investigator hired by Jeffs' attorneys.

"What he was trying to do was get something that would impeach the jurors so they could file an appeal," Finch said. "A couple of us called the judge and told him we were having a problem with that."

He said he has received three calls -- "kind of annoying."

Defense attorney Wally Bugden said: "We're just doing our jobs."

Jurors spoke publicly about the verdict immediately after the trial ended Sept. 19. Jeffs, 51, faces five years to life in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 20.

Criminal cases against Jeffs are pending in Arizona and in Utah's federal court.

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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