Bigamy Case of Former FLDS Leader Now in Hands of Midland Jury

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- The bigamy case of a former polygamist church leader is now in the hands of a jury. Wendell Nielsen's trial started last week at the Midland District Courthouse and is moving faster than anticipated.

On Tuesday, attorneys wrapped up closing arguments and the case went to the jury.

The prosecution argued that, through consistent pieces of legal documentation and paperwork, Nielsen was legally married to three women at once. They stated the act of bigamy is considered a crime against the family and a violation of Texas state law.

The defense argued that these marriages where celestial and spiritual in nature. They claimed the FLDS practice believes a woman gets to heaven by partaking in celestial marriage. So, they said, these women were simply trying to get to heaven.

The jury deliberated for about an hour on Tuesday afternoon before deciding to reconvene on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.