Update from Gary Tuchman: Warren Jeffs has been released from Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. He will likely be heading back to the Mojave County Jail.
Gary Tuchman | BIO
Warren Jeffs is in the hospital.
We don't yet know his condition. But the local sheriff says it's serious enough that he was choppered 100 miles from jail in Kingman, Arizona to Las Vegas.
There are closer hospitals. So this self-proclaimed "prophet" of a 10,000-member polygamist sect clearly needs some special level of care in a big-city facility.
Jeff's followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, for the most part, still consider him a prophet and leader of their church.
If he were to die, it's anybody's guess what would happen to the FLDS... But this has to be another wrenching turn for the sect already under investigation on allegations of marriage and abuse of underage girls.
Jeffs has been awaiting trial on 10 felony charges in Arizona - five counts of sexual conduct with a minor, four counts of incest and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
Last November, he was sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life in Utah after being convicted on two charges of being an accomplice to rape in connection with a 2001 marriage he performed between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.
Court documents show Jeffs refused food and drink for a month and developed ulcers on his knees from kneeling in prayer for hours as he awaited trial.
In January last year, he tried to hang himself in his cell, and afterward repeatedly banged his head and threw himself against a wall.
Jeffs has been in custody since 2006, when he was arrested during a routine traffic stop after spending several months on the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives list. He was in a new SUV, carrying tens of thousands of dollars in cash, several cellphones, and computers - even though sect members are forbidden such modern toys.
This year, in April, Texas authorities removed more than 400 children from the FLDS's "Yearning for Zion" ranch. Child protection officials said they found a "pervasive pattern" of sexual abuse on the ranch through forced marriages between underage girls and older men.
But the Texas Supreme Court ruled the state didn't have enough evidence to remove the children, and they were returned to their families.
Warren Jeffs is now awaiting trial on four charges of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor. Other previous charges have been dismissed.
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