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Jokes and jabs at the Wendell Nielsen trial

Published March 26, 2012 8:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Matthew Waller's liveblogging Wendell Nielsen trial for the San Angelo Standard-Times is great. It's almost like being in the courtroom, only with more comfortable seating. Read it here.

Nielsen, a former high-ranking church elder, is accused of marrying three middle-aged women in Texas. A couple of things I thought were interesting from Waller's reporting today (not all of them are central to the case):

- Rebecca Musser testified that she went to Alta Academy, the private school where Warren Jeffs was a principal, from 2nd grade through high school. The teaching was religious, women were taught homemaking and men taught construction, she said. The school grew from 200 to 500 pupils over the time she was there.

- When she finished school, she became a teacher, then left in 1995 to marry Rulon Jeffs (she was 19, he was 83. He would eventually have 65 wives.) Her job as a wife was entertaining the children.

- Defense attorney David Botsford went from a "tense" cross of Musser to a more genial exchange with family law expert Jack Sampson, joking about marrying Sampson or prosecutor Eric Nichols.

Should be an interesting trial.