The mother of a girl allegedly given in marriage at age 12 to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs refused to answer questions Monday from attorneys for the state child welfare agency who had begun presenting evidence.
The state wants to remove the girl, now 14, and an 11-year-old brother from the mother's care, saying she has refused to guarantee the girl won't have contact with men accused of being involved in underage marriages. The girl's father allegedly blessed her marriage to Jeffs and the underage marriages of at least two sisters.
The hearing was initially delayed while lawyers in that case and three others tried to negotiate settlements. Later, Texas Ranger Nick Hannah helped Child Protective Services introduce into record dozens of marriage records, photos and church records outlining family relationships that were seized from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado.
The girl's mother refused to answer roughly 50 questions asked by attorneys for the child welfare agency, including what constituted abuse, the names of her children and her relationship with their father.