July 28th, 2011
01:27 AM ET

Judge allows polygamist sect leader to represent himself

[Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET] Texas Judge Barbara Walther has granted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs' request to represent himself in his sexual assault trial.

[Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET] Jeffs told a Texas judge Thursday he has dismissed his defense attorneys and wants to represent himself in his sexual assault trial, saying if he does not, '"true justice cannot be served."

[Posted at 8:57 a.m. ET] Opening statements could come Thursday, authorities said. Lawyers are scheduled to argue about a defense motion to suppress evidence that authorities seized during their arrest of Jeffs in 2006 in Las Vegas. After that, the jury will be sworn in and and opening statements will start, court officials said.

Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of bigamy stemming from a 2008 raid on a ranch operated by his church.

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