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Former Polygamist Leader To Be Sentenced For Bigamy

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MIDLAND (AP) - A former counselor to polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs faces up to 10 years in prison after his conviction for bigamy.

Wendell Loy Nielsen was found guilty Wednesday of three counts of bigamy. A jury will continue hearing testimony Thursday before deciding on a sentence.

Nielsen is a former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints. FLDS teachings hold that polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. The mainstream Mormon church long ago disavowed polygamy.

He was accused of taking three wives outside his marriage. He is one of 12 men indicted after a 2008 raid on the sect’s remote Texas compound.

Nielsen turned down a plea deal before trial that would have allowed him to avoid jail time but imposed conditions of probation that he believed were too restrictive.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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