Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do I drive a Car? Merril invokes the fifth, citing the "Mann Act."

Hey, it's his right. Merril Jessop refuses to establish, himself, that he can drive a car. Why?
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Jessop, a top leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that runs the Schleicher County ranch, invoked the Fifth Amendment 267 times on questions as minor as whether he drives a car and as significant as whether his now-14-year-old daughter was involved in a sexual relationship with sect leader Warren Jeffs.

'Upon the advice of counsel, he's exerting his Fifth Amendment (rights),' Jessop's attorney, Amy Hennington, said early in the all-day Friday deposition. 'The basis is that there is potential state investigation still ongoing, as well as criminal investigations under the Mann Act out of the U.S. Attorney's office.'

The Mann Act prohibits the transportation of people across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity."

This sent Barbara Walther scrambling back to her office, to write an order. She will of course, find some justification for "compelling" Merril to testify. Thumbscrews anyone?

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ztgstmv said...

If she does compel him to admit he drives a car (or admit to anything else), perhaps it can be appealed or suppressed? After all, answering that is a legitimate concern. One could reason that one would need a car to transport the female across state lines in violation of the Mann act, correct? If so, admitting to driving a car, could furnish the prosecution with circumstantial evidence that could be used against him. The same goes to addressing any questions regarding Merrianne, including admitting she's his daughter.

cheese said...

Hugh, if you want to work on another concpiracy along with the Rosita saga, I have a question.
Who formulated Natalie's questions for her? She doesn't come up with that stuff on her own. So who's she representing cuz it sure ain't Teresa!!

The Pharisee said...

That's easy. They're coming from the collective prosecution in Texas of all things FLDS. They might even be coming from Walther. Teresa has a "Guardian ad litem" supplying her "will" to an "attorney ad litem," that being Natalie Malonis.

TxBluesMan said...


I know that it was the paper's error, not yours, but the Mann Act, IIRC, prohibits interstate transportation for "immoral" purposes. The Supremes have already determined that transporting for the purposes of polygamy is such a purpose. M Jessop would be well aware of this also, since the case involved the FLDS.

Not that I think it will help help him (one can be involved in a violation without being the actual transporting party), but it would be possible grounds to invoke the 5th.

The Pharisee said...

I think the point is he's not admitting to driving a car because it could be construed to be part of his involvement in another crime. He's just frustrating them, as is his right.