CA vs. Spector – Verdict Watch, OJ & Action in Utah
Posted by thedarwinexception on September 14, 2007
No verdict yet in the Spector case, although we are down one more alternate juror. One of the women (juror #18, alternate #5), has a pre-paid vacation she is supposed to embark upon, and the judge let her off the hook, thanking her very, very much for her service. This leaves us with 4 alternates. More than enough, one would think. Although since we are now at Friday afternoon with no verdict, they may be digging in for the long haul.
And OJ is back in the news, and not just with the release of the re-titled book “I Did It” that the Goldman’s are all over the media hawking, but now he has been questioned as a suspect in a burglary of some sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel room. The sheriff’s office has said that OJ is in Las Vegas and “not expected to be going anywhere”, leading one to think they told him not to go anywhere. One would hope that OJ’s Hertz rental car is not a white bronco.
Simpson’s lawyer, Yale Gallanter, has said the whole thing is much ado about nothing, and that OJ was invited into the hotel room, he didn’t break in, and that the sports memorabilia was his. Of course, committing a crime even after you are invited in does not absolve you of the crime, and there has been talk that a gun was involved, along with 4 other people.
James Dillon Captain of the Robbery Homicide Division of the Las Vegas Police Department gave a press conference late this afternoon and said that on September 13th the LVPD responded to a call where they were met by someone claiming to be the victim of an armed robbery. The victim said that one of the suspects was OJ Simpson. Reportedly taken in the armed robbery was various “sports related products”. Dillon stated that the Investigation in it’s infancy – and that he is not prepared to release any reports or police reports at this time. He said that his detectives have made early contact with Mr. Simpson and that he was, so far, cooperating with the investigation. Dillon said that the detectives are hoping to interview all parties – witnesses and suspects, in the next 24-72 hours.
OJ was contacted at a local hotel, he is not in custody and he is free to leave the area. The police have some of the items that were stolen in custody and they are cataloging and processing them at the moment. The police are looking for other suspects who were with OJ during this robbery. They have video surveillance tape and some still photographs. No charges have been filed and no one is in custody at this time. The Captain was not prepared to say if Simpson broke in or if he was invited in.
This should be interesting.
Back in Utah, after spending two years on the run being a fugitive from justice, Warren Jeffs is finally in custody and getting his day in court. Opening arguments started yesterday in St. George on his charges of being an accomplice to rape in the case of a 14 year old girl who claims she never wanted to marry her 19 year old first cousin. The state alleges that Jeffs, as her spiritual leader and prophet, counseled the girl to not only marry the boy, but also to be submissive to him and fulfill her wifely duties in the bedroom, lest she face hell, expulsion from the community, and the loss of her family, not necessarily in that order.
Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, a sect (cult?) that broke away from the more traditional “Mormon” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church when the more traditional church turned away from polygamy. He took over as head of the church in 2002, taking the reigns from his father Rulon Jeffs.
Jeffs presided over the marriage of “Jane Doe IV” and her cousin Allan despite the girls protests that she did not want to marry her cousin – she begged him to pick someone else for her to marry. Jeffs refused to consider another mate for the girl, and married them over the protestations. The girl later went to Jeffs and told him the marriage wasn’t working for her – that Allan touched her in ways she did not feel comfortable with and that she didn’t understand the things he wanted her to do. Jeffs told her to go back to her husband, be submissive, and that she would learn to love him.
The state alleges that this counseling rises to the level of accomplice to rape. They have to prove a rape occurred and also that Jeffs is an accomplice under the law and holds liability. The rule of law of accomplice liability says that if you aid and abet in the commission of a crime, that you are just as liable for the crime as the one who commits it – this is why getaway car drivers are charged with bank robbery even if they never step foot inside the bank.
In opening statements, the prosecution outlined the charges against Jeffs, the history of the marriage of the alleged victim and her cousin/husband and the facts of the alleged rape, and how the young girl begged her husband not to have sex with her or even touch her, and her meeting with both Warren Jeffs and his father, the late Rulon Jeffs, pleading to be released from the marriage.
The defense countered that not only was Jeffs innocent of the charges, but that also no rape occurred, which is a difficult position to take, because I think it can be argued that the girl was raped – she says she told her husband “NO” and whether or not the marriage was legal and whether or not the girl was underage, no means no. So I think it could easily be argued that she was raped – although the husband in this case hasn’t been charged, as yet, charges are “pending”, and he is slated to testify for the defense. They will have to have some pretty powerful and definitive evidence to prove that this girl had consensual sex with her husband.
The state calls Jane Doe IV to the stand as their first witness, and she outlines her childhood and how life was growing up in the FLDS community. She attended public school only for a couple of years, Warren Jeffs was one of her teachers. She learned the ways of the church from him in school, through his writings and his sermons. She also testified to listening to what can only be called “indoctrination tapes” that were made by Jeffs for the “Home Economics Class”. And this wasn’t the normal “Home Ec” that you attended in high school – this was “Crazy Ass Home Ec” class, where the girls were taught how to be a good, obedient wife, and taught to “become one” with your husband, your priesthood leader. She and her siblings would listen to these tapes while they did their daily household chores. These tapes were meant to instruct young girls on how to behave around boys before marriage. They were supposed to act “Bars Up”, which meant to act as though there were bars between them and any boys. They were to treat boys as “snakes” and have no contact with them whatsoever. And they were supposed to “keep sweet” which meant acting with a smile, being obedient and acting virginal. The consequences of not keeping these rules was that you would be “unclean”. You could be reprimanded or even removed from your home and the community. There were extreme social and spiritual consequences. You could lose your opportunity of salvation.
The girls received tons of instructions on how to be a good wife, but they never received any instructions on female anatomy, biology, human reproduction or sexual education of any kind. The witness says that she received no education about menstruation, either,. and the first she heard about that was when she started menstruating herself, and was told only that this was “to prepare her for children”. All things sexual were to be taught to the girls by their husbands. Although it was not really explained how the husbands would know.
The witness then explained the “administration” and roles of the leaders of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. There is a prophet of God – he is “God on Earth” – and his counselors were the “mouthpieces” of this prophet. The members of the church were to follow the prophets and their teachings without question. Obedience was to be complete, willing and “sweet”, and setting aside your own will. These prophets were deigned to lead the followers into heaven and everlasting salvation. Disobeying the leaders would mean losing your family, your community, and your chance at salvation.
The witness had first hand experience with this, when her birth father was stripped of his family and his community and expelled from the church for not being obedient to the prophets. The witness said that after he was banished, she never saw him again.
The prosecutor then plays some audio tapes of Warren Jeffs preaching the word during some of his crazy ass home ec classes. Jeffs can be heard in a hypnotic voice instructing the listeners to “keep the bars up” for everyone except their husband, but once they are married, to lower the bars for their husband.
The witness testifies that she has heard these tapes before, and she understood and was duly indoctrinated to these beliefs.
She testifies that at some point that God spoke to Warren Jeffs and told Jeffs that it was time for her to be married. He told her step father this information and her stepfather told her that God had called her to be married, and she had to prepare to be “placed” – meaning married to a priested man. . She asked to whom she would be married, and she was told that would be revealed to her later.
Three days before she was married, her family went to a gathering and there was a limited number of chairs in the room. There was an empty chair next to the witness, and since some of the older women were sitting on the floor, out of respect she offered them the chair. They refused, which she thought odd. She then saw Alan Steed, a familiar face, and he walked towards her. He then took the chair next to her. Normally, it would be improper for a boy to sit next to a girl, and she realized that he must have done this because this was the boy she was to marry.
She then got up and went to talk to her mother. She told her about her intuition that she was to marry Alan, and that she would not do it, and was going to speak to her Step Father about it.
After the gathering, she did speak to her stepfather, telling him that she knew that she was to be placed with Allan and that Allan was her first cousin and she thought she was too young to be married and that she didn’t want to.
This was a very significant act for the girl, because she was, in essence, defying the prophets and defying God.
She told her step father that she was going to call Warren Jeffs in the morning to tell him that she wasn’t going to get married.
She spoke to Jeffs and told him that she wanted to speak to the prophet and hear from him that she was to marry this boy, because she was not comfortable with the situation and felt she was too young to be married – and that she didn’t want to be married to her cousin at all.
Jeffs said that he would talk to the prophet and get back to her.
She got an appointment with the prophet a few days before the marriage and went to his home to speak to him. She knelt down next to the prophet, as was customary, and told him that she didn’t want to marry this boy, and the reasons why. The prophet told her that she was to follow her heart, which elated the young girl, since she knew that this marriage was not the way of her heart.
As she was leaving, she felt much better, since she thought the prophet himself had relieved her of her obligation to marry her cousin. Her joy was short lived, however, as Warren Jeffs met her in the hallway as she was leaving and told her “Your heart is in the wrong place.” And basically said that she was still to marry her cousin.