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Blog: FLDS leader leaving prison next week

Published May 1, 2013 6:40 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A one-time president of the FLDS church is getting out of a Texas prison next week after spending just over a year behind bars.

The Eldorado Success reported Tuesday that 72-year-old Wendell Loy Nielsen will leave prison May 8. Unfortunately, the article is protected by a paywall, so you'll need a subscription to read it, but in short it says that Nielsen will go free after serving 13 months of a 10-year sentence for bigamy.

Nielsen briefly served as the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before Warren Jeffs reclaimed the office from his jail cell in 2011.

A judge sentenced Nielsen to prison in March 2012 for marrying three middle-aged women. The sentence came after he went back on a plea bargain that would have given him probation. Nielsen reportedly felt the conditions of his probation were too stiff and asked for trial instead.

A jury ultimately convicted Nielsen of three felony counts of bigamy.

He was one of 12 men charged after a high-profile raid on the FLDS church's Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas. However, unlike other defendants from the raid, Nielsen didn't face charges related to underage marriages.

Jim Dalrymple II