No Retrial for Guilty Follower of Jeffs

Associated Press, carried in
November 24, 2006

Kingman — A judge in Mohave County turned down a defense request for a new trial for a polygamous Colorado City man convicted in October of having sex with an underage girl.

David Romaine Bateman, 49, was convicted of felony sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor and faces up to two years in prison on each count. He also could be sentenced to probation only.

Defense lawyer Bruce Griffin argued Tuesday that Bateman should get a new trial because a key prosecution witness, Richard Holm, overheard Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith's opening statements. Holm is a former member of Bateman's church, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Griffin also said prosecutors should have revealed more about Holm's history with his former wife, and that a juror's negative feelings about church leader Warren Jeffs should have been revealed before trial.

Judge James Chavez turned aside the challenges, saying none affected Bateman's fair trial rights. He reset Bateman's sentencing for Dec. 15.


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