A federal judge has ordered three members of a polygamous religious sect held without bond in the 1988 killings of three former members of the group and an 8-year-old girl.
U.S. Magistrate Frances Stacy made the ruling Tuesday, saying William Heber LeBaron, 28; Patricia LeBaron, 27; and Douglas Lee Barlow, 31; are dangerous to the community and would possibly flee if they could be released on bond.All three were transferred to Houston after they were arrested in Arizona on auto theft charges. Their arrests came shortly after the shooting deaths of Houston brothers Mark and Duane K. Chynoweth, Ed Marston of Irving, and Jenny Chynoweth, Duane's daughter.
But a federal indictment against the three was only unsealed in August. The indictment alleges the three and another sect member, Richard LeBaron, who has been in custody in Houston, and two other sect members conspired to commit murder for hire in and were involved in witness tampering in the girl's death.
Sect leaders Aaron Morel LeBaron and Jacqueline LeBaron were indicted, but both remain at large.
The victims, except Jenny, have been identified as being targets because they abandoned the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God.
The slayings occurred almost simultaneously at three different sites on June 27, 1988.
All of the defendants, except Barlow, are children of the late Ervil LeBaron, who headed the polygamous sect. Barlow is a stepson of Ervil LeBaron.
Ervil LeBaron died in 1981 of a heart attack while serving a prison sentence in Utah for the 1977 murder of rival polygamist leader Rulon Allred.