Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Rozita Swinton Pleads Guilty In Colorado, Gets Wrist Slap For False Phone Call Triggering The $14 Million Raid On The Eldorado, Texas FLDS Compound
The woman whose bogus phone call triggered the Texas CPS raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound in Eldorado, Texas, ultimately calculated to have cost around $14 million, has pleaded guilty to making the phone call and has essentially received a wrist slap in return.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, thirty-five year old Rozita Swinton pleaded guilty on January 13th, 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of false reporting for posing as a trapped teen in a phone call to Colorado Springs police. After entering the plea via her lawyer, David Foley, El Paso County Judge Daniel Wilson sentenced Swinton to the following:
-- A two-year deferred prison sentence, meaning that if Swinton avoids breaking any laws other than traffic infractions over the next two years and follows the terms on her plea agreement, she will not have a permanent criminal record. According to KRDO Channel 13, the maximum sentence for the conviction is six years in jail and a fine of $750.
-- 45 days in jail with credit for time in treatment, a period that she already has served.
-- Undergo mental health treatment with a doctor who will make quarterly reports to the judge and prosecutor.
-- Not allowed to leave the state of Colorado without the court’s permission.
-- Limited to owning just one home phone and one cell phone and letting the District Attorney know those numbers.
KRDO news video embedded below:
As part of the plea deal, authorities in Douglas County also agreed to drop charges stemming from a similar false reporting incident in 2005. Swinton's lawyer has claimed that Swinton suffers from multiple personality disorder. But there were also documented ties between Swinton and anti-polygamist activist Flora Jessop, who was accused of attempting to use Swinton to get back at the FLDS. Swinton was also identified as a member of the mainstream LDS Church at the time.
Considering the amount of money spent by Texas on the FLDS raid and its aftermath, the minor penalties against Swinton are indeed a wrist slap. But even though Colorado has pronounced judgment, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Texas is not done with Swinton yet. Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's Office, said in an e-mail to the Tribune that the state's inquiry into Rozita Swinton and other aspects of this case is still ongoing, but offered no further details.