Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mark Stevens moves for an "Instructed Verdict"

Denied of course:
The Salt Lake Tribune - "One document, a marriage record, showed Jessop married the then 16-year-old on Aug. 12, 2004, for 'time and eternity,' at Jeffs' home at the Yearning for Zion Ranch, where about 600 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints reside.

Jeffs performed the ceremony, while counselors Wendell Nielsen and Fred M. Jessop were witnesses.

A dictation dated Oct. 19, 2004, said that a 'fourth home was to be built' at the ranch for Jessop, its foundation to be completed by Nov. 5 of that year.

A list dated Oct. 7, 2005, of 'Babies Born at R-17' showed names of Jessop and his alleged victim and a check mark under a column labeled 'girls.'

Hanna also read from a 'List of Nursing and Expectant Mothers,' which under Jessop's name show the alleged victim as a nursing mother in October 2005. As required by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther, names of two pregnant women and two other nursing mothers associated with Jessop were blacked out.

None of the documents were dated from November 2004, when the state alleges the alleged victim became pregnant.

Defense Attorney Mark Stevens focused on that when he asked Walther to give the jury an 'instructed verdict' that the state hadn't proved jurisdiction. Walther denied that motion
This would seem to say that the defense is conceding that Raymond is the child's father. That really doesn't surprise me. It also may be that the defense will point to the fact that other possible candidates that were close relatives were not tested, and we don't know what those tests would have shown. If I made that argument in Mark Stevens' shoes, I would point out that we can't know what likelihood of paternity exists in another person not tested, that the state assumed too much and didn't do it's job.

In the final analysis though, it seems that he is going to hang his hat on the idea that Texas is trying a case it can't know it has jurisdiction over, that Raymond and his "Bride" could have been anywhere in the world, and it certainly hasn't been shown that Raymond was on the ranch when the child was conceived.

The Associated Press seems to concur that it is an essential element.
WRAL - "(Raymond) Jessop's attorney, Mark Stevens, has argued that prosecutors failed to show that any assault happened in Texas - a necessary element in demonstrating the court's jurisdiction.

'There is no way one can draw a reasonable inference ... that this alleged event must have occurred on that ranch,' he said."

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1 comment:

karateka said...

I think the state has a huge hole in their case: proof that it occurred in Texas. Seems to be a pretty important piece missing.

Imagine if this were Dallas Cowboys founder Clint Murchison Jr. who while married likely had relations with thousands of ladies. Would they have convicted if they couldn't prove where it took place? No. How about Texas oil tycoon and polygamist H. L. Hunt with his three wives and three families. Would they have convicted? Not on your life.

It is pretty clear that the people of this county are bigots. It is pretty clear the court is tilted. It is a defeat for the rule of law.

Fortunately, the scoreboard stands Texas 2, Walther 0. I am hopeful that more objective people will be found in higher courts.

FLDS 439 - Bigots 0!