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Friday, June 17, 2011

Jacqueline LeBaron Daughter of 'Ervil LeBaron' polygamous sect leader pleads guilty 24 years after murders ordered by her father from his jail cell

The daughter of a polygamist fundamental Mormon sect leader, who spent 17 years on the run, today pleaded guilty to a charge relating to the killings of four people who left the church.

Jacqueline LeBaron became a fugitive after an eight-year-old girl and three sect members were shot dead in Texas just minutes apart following orders from her father to kill anyone who left the sect.

She pleaded guilty in Houston to a charge of conspiracy to obstruct religious belief for the killings that became know as the ‘Four o’clock murders’ just days before her trial was supposed to begin.

She now only faces up to five years in prison after accepting one of the charges in a plea deal.

Authorities said LeBaron helped mastermind the 1988 shooting deaths of three former sect members and the young daughter of one of them.

She was following her sect's doctrine of blood atonement, in which defectors were killed. Read More


Ervil LeBaron started the church in 1972 in San Diego, California, after falling out with his brother over the leadership of another sect, which had been started when the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints banned polygamy.

LeBaron, who had at least 13 wives, believed that God wanted him to assassinate anyone who left his fundamental Mormon sect or appeared to be a rival.

In 1977, he was convicted of ordering the murder of rival polygamist sect leader Rulon Allred.

While in prison, he wrote the 400-page Book of the New Covenants, which included a commandment to kill disobedient church members who were included in a hit list.

LeBaron died in prison in 1981, but six family members organised ‘Four o’clock’ murders, which saw an eight-year-old child and three former members shot dead within minutes of each other in Texas in 1988.

It has been estimated that 25 people have been killed as a result of his prison cell orders.

Many of his family members and other former members of the sect still remain in hiding for fear of retribution.