Former FLDS Leader Sentenced To 10 Years Jail

MIDLAND (AP) – A former polygamist leader found guilty of bigamy has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A Midland County jury sentenced Wendell Loy Nielsen on Friday, two days after he was convicted on three counts of bigamy. He will serve the three sentences concurrently.

The 71-year-old 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 group.

He also was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 for each of the counts.

Testimony in the trial’s sentencing phase ended Thursday.

Nielsen could have avoided jail but renounced his original plea deal with prosecutors because he felt the probation conditions 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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