Girl from Polygamist Group Ordered into State Care

Staff Report

The Associated Press

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A Texas judge has ordered a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly married to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs to be placed in foster care.

Texas District Judge Barbara Walther on Tuesday said there was "uncontroverted evidence of the underage marriage."

Under the ruling, the girl's 11-year-old brother can stay with his mother.

Witnesses for the state have argued during the custody hearing that the girl's mother, Barbara Jessop, isn't a suitable caregiver because the girl and several other children were involved in underage marriages.

Child welfare authorities have been investigating the cases of 440 children since the Texas Supreme Court ordered that the children removed from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in April be returned to their parents.