From a pool reporter inside the courtroom
2 cases so far:
2 ½ year old girl
Janet Jeffs, the mother, was not in the courtroom, but she and her attorney spoke via speakerphone from Austin, TX. Janet and her child are living together at a shelter in Austin. There were questions about whether Janet was a minor, but at this morning's hearing the state agreed to accept the fact the she was over 18. The mother's court-appointed attorney had to withdraw from the case because she was assigned to represent Janet as a minor. The judge has given Janet a week to find an attorney who will represent her as an adult. Janet says she last saw the father, Raymond Jessop, about a year ago at the ranch. No one knows where he is now.
15 year old boy
The father in this case is believed to be in charge of YFZ ranch while Warren Jeffs was in jail.
Father was not present in the courtroom. His where-abouts are also unknown. Mother and father also have 4 other children. The major issue raised by the mother's attorney is that the siblings are not all together, but split between 3 homes. The mother's attorney pointed out that it will be difficult to comply with the terms of the CPS plan. One requirement is that the mom have a job in order to provide for the kids – difficult if she has to run around all over the state to visit with her children. The CPS case worker testified that efforts are being made to bring the 3 girls together in one place and keep the boys together.
Also at issue, the child's access to religious material. The CPS case worker confirmed that FLDS ministers are not being allowed to visit the Cal Farley Home, while children of other religions at the home can have ministerial visits. Another issue involves access to the Book of Mormon. The CPS case worker stated the department would have no problem allowing the Book, "as long as it doesn't have Warren Jeffs picture." The mother's attorney asked whether the "safe living environment" outline in the CPS plan meant "away from the ranch." He replied, "Yes, away from the ranch."
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