April 18th, 2008
09:27 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS Hearing: Mothers 3 and 4

Ismael Estrada, CNN Supervising Producer
New witness Linda Musser takes the stand:

-She is 56, has a son, Damian Jason Musser, 13, in CPS custody.  

-She was 20 when she married, divorced in 1999, husband was drinking, with diabetes, yelled at children, was abusive.

-She has a daughter, 29, who had medical problems when born, is a dialysis patient, is allowed to come and go as she pleases. 

-Has other kids, 2 left the FLDS, they wanted a different kind of life.  The children were married, at 19, 20, 21, 20,  and the other was over 20.

-Each child has their own individual personality because they have individual mothers.  

-She is willing to move away to get her son back. 

-She would do whatever the court required to do. 

Cross Examination:

-Amos Musser, her husband, is no longer on the ranch.

-She spends most of her time taking care of her daughter.  

-Has been at  the FLDS' YFZ ranch since August, is not familiar with marriages there. 

-Does not own any property .

-Has 2 sons who do construction work and would help her.

-Her sons don’t have a home, they travel around with the construction company…

 Attorney for Jason Musser, age 13, asks questions: 

-Says her son goes to school at the ranch, in 6th grade, and works around the garden and property after school.  

-She would home school him if they moved away from the ranch, but if court required her to enroll him in school, she would.

New witness Lucille Nielson,  takes the stand.

-She will be 25 soon, has one child, Wendall Loa Nielson Jessop, age 2.

-She has a spiritual relationship with the father, Jim Jessop a spiritual marriage.

-Was 19 when she started the relationship. 

-She lives with Jim Jessop, Sarah Jessop, his legal wife, Megan another sister wife, and all the children and 7 children.  The children are ages, 1-9. She participates care for these children. 

-the children of school age go to school.  She helps prepare 3 meals and 2 snacks for the kids daily.   Bed time is 7:30 to 8:30

-She believes that a woman could not be married until physically and mentally mature enough to take care of a family.  She says God the heavenly father helps to decide when. 

-A girl should be at least 20.. that's when she got married.

-Her mother taught her how to raise children, how to love her husband.

-Life on the ranch is peaceful, loving.  Family devotions every day. Children go to school, gather garbage off the streets, keep things clean, help the elderly… You can feel the peace. 

-She knows of women who married under age 18.. would guess a dozen..  does not know how many children are under the age of 16 who are married.

-About 100-150 women at the ranch are married .

-Has never witnessed a woman physically abused at the ranch in her 3 years there. 

-Does not believe her spiritual beliefs allow for child abuse.

-We use obedience thru love, but we love them. Yes they are prone to tantrums, but we love them.

 -Says she has never screamed or yelled at her 2-year-old. Any kind of talking or persuading to be obedient has been thru love, there is no harshness.

-Children are not deprived of food or needs as a form of punishment.

-I plead with the judge to allow my son to remain with me. 

-Willing to be monitored to demonstrate she is not a danger to her child. 

Coordinating attorney cross examination:

-Nielson says son Wendall has not had any shots or immunizations, has had 2 check ups since he was born. 

-She has 2 sister wives, aged 32 and 23. 

-Everyone was over the age of 18 when they married her husband

Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. alice

    These losers are lying..... So stupid ...... These mothers need to speak out. I know that they are all lying... So pathetic....

    April 20, 2008 at 2:54 am |
  2. Debby

    This entire situation is repulsive. This is not religion, it is a cult focused entirely on control.

    April 19, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  3. vinnie adams

    thank you for making our gov. accountable and giving the peo. a way to express what we exspect from them.

    April 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  4. maria

    I just courious about the ratio of men : women in this comunity, how can 1 man can marry 3 or more.

    In the world's population statitistic, the population of women is slightly greater because they live longer around 3-5 years than men.

    How can this comunity have much greater women population? Judge please investigate this matter. (Where are the girls from / where did they throw the boys?)

    April 19, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  5. Wanda

    Women and children need to be taken out of the situation at the FLDS "ranch", but what I would like to know is...Why are there not any charges against the men out there? What they are doing and putting these women and children through is a shame and degrace in America. Aren't there any laws that can hold them responsible for what they have done to young girls. The last time I heard about a rape case between a man and a young girl, charges of rape was brought against the man. Why are there not any rape charges brought against these men who live out there??????

    April 19, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  6. Annie Kate

    Seems like any mother that testifies will do whatever it takes to get their child back. But how long would it take before they are back to the ranch and the lifestyle that created the abuse? These women need to be "de-programmed". Maybe then they would be able to raise their children in a way that is good for the child and the child's future.
    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 18, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  7. ben latimer

    with all these moms and a limited number of dads ( the boys are sent away), and if all the kids become blended, isn't there a huge problem of of in breeding . how much "new Blood" gets into these compounds. concerned

    April 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  8. Cindy Steele

    Where are the men of FLDS? No one has mentioned anything about their whereabouts!!!

    April 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm |