August 20, 2008 in Nation/World

Jeffs’ wife, 14, sent to foster care

 

A 14-year-old girl allegedly married to jailed polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs with her parents’ blessing at age 12 was ordered back into foster care Tuesday by a Texas judge.

District Judge Barbara Walther said there was “uncontroverted evidence of the underage marriage” and the girl’s mother, Barbara Jessop, refused to guarantee the girl’s safety. The girl, shown kissing Jeffs in photographs submitted to the court, must immediately enter foster care.

Her 11-year-old brother, whom Texas child welfare authorities also wanted placed in foster care, will be allowed to stay with his mother but must undergo psychological evaluation in the next month.

The girl’s case marked the first in which Child Protective Services returned to foster care a child who lived at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado before the April raid that resulted in 440 children being placed in foster care for six weeks. The Texas Supreme Court later struck down that early custody decision, saying the state failed to show any more than a handful of teenage girls might have been abused.

The children were returned to their parents in June.

Point Marion, Pa.

Woman, 85, turns tables on intruder

An 85-year-old woman boldly went for her gun and busted a would-be burglar inside her home, then forced him to call police while she kept him in her sights, police said.

“I just walked right on past him to the bedroom and got my gun,” Leda Smith said.

Smith heard someone break into her home Sunday afternoon and grabbed the .22-caliber revolver she had been keeping by her bed since a neighbor’s home was burglarized a few weeks ago.

“I said, ‘What are you doing in my house?’ He just kept saying he didn’t do it,” Smith said.

After the 17-year-old boy called 911, Smith held the gun on him until state police arrived at her home in Springhill Township.

The youth will be charged with attempted burglary and related offenses in juvenile court, Trooper Christian Lieberum said. He was not identified because of his age.

“It was exciting,” Smith said. “I just hope I broke up the (burglary) ring because they have been hitting a lot of places around here.”

From wire reports

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