Polygamist Sect Leader’s Daughter Caught, Charged with Murder

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A tip to the FBI has led to the capture of a woman wanted on multiple charges of murder and conspiracy, authorities announced recently.

Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron was captured in the Honduran city of Moroceli, thanks to the combined effort of the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Interpol and the United States Consulate in Honduras. LeBaron, who has been wanted since 1992, has been extradited to Houston and remains in federal custody, pending a hearing next week to determine whether or not she will be detained until her trial.

LeBaron is the daughter of a polygamist sect leader who died in prison in 1981, after having been convicted in 1972 of demanding that family members kill his brother. Ervil LeBaron, the leader of the Church of the Lamb of God, had had a falling out with his brother, whom he said had disobeyed church laws. The elder LeBaron also reportedly ordered the execution of rival polygamists and disobedient church members.

It was rumored that Ervil LeBaron had written a “bible” that included a commandment to kill church members who strayed from the fold, and that some of his 54 children were working on killing those individuals named in a hit list he wrote before his death.

Jacqueline LeBaron is suspected in the 1988 slaying of three former sect members and the eight-year-old daughter of one of them, in Houston and Irving, TX. She was one of six LeBaron family members who were charged in the murders. Three were convicted in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison; one was convicted of ordering the deaths and sentenced to 45 years in prison; and the youngest, who was just 16 when the killings took place, pleaded guilty to the murder of the child and served five years in prison. All four of the victims were shot; the child was killed, said investigators, because the sect members were afraid that she would stand as a witness against them.

According to Angela Dodge, a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office in Houston, LeBaron complained that she was denied due process at her arrest in Honduras, and also claimed to be a Mexican citizen. She is being charged with conspiracy to commit murder; murder; conspiracy to tamper with a witness; tampering with a witness; use of a firearm during a crime of violence; conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs; obstruction of religious beliefs; and racketeering conspiracy.

LeBaron, who had been named to the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list in 2006, will be appointed a lawyer by the court.

 

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