Jeffs' accuser hopes for another chance in court
Dan Metcalf, ABC 4
Elissa Wall

Elissa Wall interview

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Nearly four years after his capture outside of Las Vegas and four years of bouncing between jails and prison, Warren Jeffs now stands convicted of ... nothing. The charges in Arizona: all dropped. The charges in Texas: pending extradition. And the convictions in Utah: overturned.

Elissa Wall, the chief accuser in the Utah case against Warren Jeffs is in shock. In talking to reporters after the Utah Supreme Court decision, her words were strong, but the voice was shaky and she seems unsure about what comes next. "I still am in shock understanding that there's a huge possibility that we could do this all over again. And more than anything that Warren Jeffs is going to possibly walk away. That's painful."

In the fall of 2007, her voice was filled with emotion as she related before the court the trauma Jeffs caused by forcing her into a marriage at age 14. "This was the darkest time of my entire life," she testified. "This is very hard for me to relate." It was especially hard to face Warren Jeffs who she once believed was God's own prophet. She remembered, "Right at the beginning of the trial, he looked at me with his death stare. I was sitting there because I had chosen to stand up against Warren and stand up against the injustice in my life and hold him accountable."

Now the Utah Supreme Court has overturned the 2007 conviction of Warren Jeffs. It found that the trial judge gave a bad instruction to the jury prior to their deliberations. The justices ordered a new trial, but ultimately that decision will be made by the Washington County attorney. He can start over, or drop the charges.

If Elissa Wall is asked, she will tell them she's ready to go it again. "I want to see justice served," she said. "The truth remains the same. Wrongs have been done and justice has not been served."
Originally broadcast July 27, 2010