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FLDS Leader Gets Max Punishment in Texas for Bigamy

Wendell Loy Nielson has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for each of his 3 counts of bigamy -- the maximum penalty under Texas law. While his defense lawyers argued that Nielson was not guilty of bigamy because his extra relationships were not legal marriages, the jury disagreed. Nielson is also alleged to have conducted ceremonies, marrying girls 12- and 16-years-old to Warren Jeffs. He has allegedly been involved in the marriages of 37 girls of that age.  

Nielson was a one-time body guard of Rulon Jeffs, and during the former leader's years of incapacitation, was named president of the FLDS Church.