Lyle Jeffs Pleads Not Guilty After Year as Fugitive

Jul 11, 2017

A polygamous sect leader is pleading not guilty to a failure to appear charge filed after his nearly year-long stint as a fugitive.

Lyle Jeffs arrives at the Sioux Falls, S.D., federal courthouse last month after his capture.
Credit Image KSFY via CNN

Lyle Jeffs appeared before a federal judge in Utah on Monday, looking thinner than he did in previous court appearances. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on that charge.

Jeffs has also pleaded not guilty to charges filed in a suspected multimillion-dollar food-stamp fraud scheme. He was awaiting trial when he escaped from home confinement in Salt Lake City in June 2016.

He was recaptured in South Dakota last month after pawning two pairs of pliers while apparently living out of his pickup truck.

The two other felony counts of benefits fraud and money laundering carry possible 5- and 10-year sentences.