Source AP ©

Court chooses jury for trial of Polygamous-sect leader

Jury selection went on Tuesday for the trial of a polygamous-sect leader charged with felonies.

Warren Jeffs, the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is accused of coercing the marriage of the 14-year-old, who is now an adult, over her objections. She has testified that Jeffs told her it was her religious duty to have sex to produce children.

Once part of early Mormon doctrine, plural marriage remains a central tenet of the FLDS faith. Mormons abandoned polygamy in 1890 as a condition of Utah's statehood.

If convicted, the 51-year-old Jeffs faces a possible penalty of up to life in prison.

Only nine people were qualified for the final jury pool Monday. The U.S. District judge said he needs a final pool of at least 28 people to pick eight jurors and four alternates for opening statements Wednesday.

Many jury candidates expressed a certain tolerance for the religious practices of the FLDS church.

If the judge is unable to seat a jury, he plans to move the trial to Salt Lake City, 300 miles (482.7 kilometers) north.

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