Texas jury finds ex-FLDS leader guilty of bigamy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas jury finds ex-FLDS leader guilty of bigamy

MIDLAND, Texas (AP/KLTV) - A Texas jury that found a former polygamist leader guilty of bigamy is has decided the man's punishment.

Wendell Loy Nielsen was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison and is ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for each of the three counts of bigamy against him.

Nielsen is the former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was once a top lieutenant to Warren Jeffs in the polygamist sect.

Seventy-one year old Nielsen was found guilty Wednesday of having multiple marriages, and testimony in the trial's sentencing phase ended Thursday.

Nielsen could have avoided jail altogether. But he renounced his original plea deal with prosecutors last year because he felt the probation conditions were too restrictive.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press/KLTV. All Rights Reserved.

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