Claims of False Testimony a Misunderstanding
Lamont Barlow says an investigation into false testimony in FLDS leader Warren S. Jeffs' trial is based on a simple misunderstanding.
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Elissa Wall and Her Husband, Lamont Barlow.

Elissa Wall and Her Husband, Lamont Barlow.

(St. George, UT) - Lamont Barlow says an investigation into false testimony in polygamous sect prophet Warren S. Jeffs' trial for rape as an accomplice is based on a simple misunderstanding, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

In newly filed court documents, Barlow said he described comments made by defense attorney Wally Bugden -- not his wife Elissa Wall -- as "lies." Barlow made the comments to Shannon Price, director of The Diversity Foundation, a nonprofit that assists teens who've left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sect.

Barlow said Price misspoke when she shared their conversation with Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap in January. Belnap, in turn, requested that the Washington County Sheriff's Office investigate the false testimony allegation.

Price told a sheriff's deputy that Barlow had told her a witness "had lied during her testimony at the Warren Jeffs trial" and that medical records had "all been created in one day, to make it look like [Wall] had seen a caretaker on several different occasions," according to the sheriff's investigative report.

Jeffs was convicted in 2007 of rape as an accomplice based on the 2001 spiritual marriage he performed between Wall, then 14, and Allen G. Steed, then 19. Wall testified during the trial she objected to the marriage but Jeffs ignored her pleas.

Wall also testified that she experienced several miscarriages during her marriage to Steed, but did not discuss her medical records. A midwife who treated Wall in Canada also testified during the trial and provided a clinical report of those visits as a trial exhibit.

In a Feb. 25 affidavit, Barlow said in his conversation with Price he was referring to when Bugden misread portions in a "life style and social history" section of a medical report during his closing arguments.

Bugden said the section showed Wall had engaged in various unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, during her pregnancy. The notations indicated "something that might be a little bit different from the Elissa Wall that sat right here, the victim Elissa Wall," Bugden told the jury.

In fact, the report indicated Wall had "no concerns" about those issues, something Belnap corrected in his remarks to the jury. Barlow said he considers the "false conditions" mentioned by Bugden to be "lies to the jury."

"The misstatements were a significant event at trial and were the subject of discussions afterward," Barlow said. "That is the context in which I brought the matter up with Shannon Price. It is apparent to me that she simply misunderstood."

Price declined to comment about the situation on Wednesday. She is scheduled to be interviewed about the matter later this month by defense attorney Michael Piccarreta, who is representing Jeffs on similar charges in Arizona. Piccarreta also wants to re-interview Barlow about the allegations of false testimony and "falsification of medical records."

Salt Lake Attorney Roger Hoole, who represents Barlow and Wall, said in a court filing that if information beyond the affidavit is needed his client will sit for a second interview -- only if certain conditions are met, including proof that Wall testified about her medical records during the 2007 trial and the interview is limited to Barlow's conversation with Price. Hoole also asks that the interview take place at the Washington County Attorney's Office so Belnap can participate.
Originally published March 3, 2010