HOUSTON — Convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was moved Tuesday to his new permanent home, an East Texas prison, to begin serving his life sentence for sexually assaulting one of his child brides at a West Texas compound built and occupied by members of his Mormon fundamentalist church.
Jeffs, 55, was taken from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Byrd Unit in Huntsville, where new inmates undergo physical and mental examinations, to the Powledge Unit outside Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas. He was taken to the Huntsville prison two weeks ago after a San Angelo jury decided he should spend life in prison for sexual assault. His victim was among 24 underage wives who prosecutors said Jeffs collected.
He also received the maximum 20-year punishment on a separate child sex conviction.
The punishment was the harshest possible. The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints isn't eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old.
Prison agency spokesman Jason Clark said Jeffs will be in protective custody, which is among the most restrictive forms of imprisonment in Texas. He'll be alone in his cell daily, not be involved in any work programs and be out of the cell only for recreation alone and to shower.