FLDS member Merilyn Jeffs takes the stand and testifies:
-She is capable of supporting herself independently.
-She has one daughter, Marla Neilson, has a birth certificate and Social Security card.
-Was 21 when her daughter was born
-The father of her daughter is Wendall Neilson.
-She was not forced into marriage before age 18.
-She is not able to be with her daughter at this time.
-Her daughter was in the 1st group removed from the compound, and she was not allowed to accompany her daughter.
-She was allowed to reunite at Fort Concho.
-This has not been a good experience for her daughter.
-It’s in her best interest to have have Marla with her.
-She is willing to do whatever is required to stay with her daughter.
-She would not allow her daughter to marry before she was 18…
-Her daughter has a say in who she marries and when.
-She’s responisible for what happens to Marla.
Cross examination. Merlyn Jeffs testifies:
-She has never insturucted her daughter to give a false name. They have conversations.
-She has not witnessed any marriages at YFZ ranch since she has been there in 2004.
-Her mother lives in the same house, along with many other family.
-She has a sister who’s been married since 2004, she’s 19 now.
-Can’t be exact on how old her sister's baby is... estimates 2 years old.
-Has another sister who she believes is 18, remembers congratulating her when she got married.
-Sister was married more than 1 year ago, her daughter is walking.
-Says she will have her child wait to be married, if the prophet says her daughter was able to marry, at 15.
-Is not familiar with any of the marriages of any other women on the ranch.
Questioned by her daughter's attorney, Jeffs testifies:
-CPS took her daughter from her
-She went to the shelter to be with her.
-Does not want to have her daughter before marry before 18, because she wants to protect her.
-Was unaware of the legal age to marry
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