Warren Jeffs Didn't Actually Starve Himself Into Coma; Prison Officials Tell New Times Source of Rumor Unknown

You may have gotten your hopes up this afternoon when ABC News' rumor department ran with the story that convicted pervert Warren Jeffs is in a coma and not expected to survive after apparently starving himself in a Texas prison.

We hate to disappoint anyone who wishes nothing but the worst for the child-raping cult leader, but it turns out the rumor that Jeffs is in a coma and expected to die is exactly that: a rumor.

Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice -- where Jeffs is currently a guest of the state -- tells New Times the "prophet" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is currently in critical but stable condition. The source of the rumor remains a mystery.

"Jeffs has not been eating/taking in fluids as he should," Clark continues. "He indicated he was not on a hunger strike but fasting. The inmate also has other medical conditions that have risen to the level of needing hospitalization."

Jeffs, as you're probably aware, is a pretty bad dude. See former New Times staffer John Dougherty's articles on the the secretive, isolated polygamist Mormon communities that straddle the Arizona-Utah border here.

The FLDS' original headquarters was based in Colorado City -- along the Arizona/Utah border -- but Jeffs moved the Church's headquarters to Texas after he faced criminal charges in Arizona. He was convicted of accessory to rape in Utah in 2007, but the conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court. In December he was extradited to Texas to face charges there.

Prosecutors were able to prove through DNA evidence that Jeffs fathered a child with a 15-year-old member of the church. They also played audio recordings at trial of Jeffs sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

The two girls whom Jeffs has been convicted of sexually abusing are apparently the tip of the iceberg.

In 2004, Jeffs' nephew, Brent Jeffs, filed a lawsuit against his uncle claiming he sodomized him in the late 1980s. Two of Jeffs' other nephews also made claims that Jeffs sexually abused them, one of whom, Clayne Jeffs, committed suicide.

Jeffs is the eighth member of the FLDS church convicted since authorities raided the Yearning For Zion compound near San Angelo, Texas, in 2008 after Child Protective Services received several calls from juveniles claiming they'd been abused.

Rumors of Jeffs' impending demise, however, are apparently greatly exaggerated.

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James King
Contact: James King