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Hearing on placing children of polygamists is postponed

A court hearing to determine where to place seven children of a polygamist couple in the Kingston polygamist clan has been postponed until Friday.

The children, ages 2 to 11, were taken into state custody Monday after authorities found them unattended and living in allegedly unsanitary conditions in a Sandy home owned by Ellery Kingston. The hearing was originally scheduled Wednesday.The children may be returned to their parents if the couple promise to keep their home clean and ensure the kids have adult supervision at all times, a Division of Child and Family Services official said.

Heber Tippetts, DCFS's Cottonwood regional director, said Thursday that his agency is willing to return the children under the right conditions. Tippetts said Kingston and his attorney, Carl Kingston, have agreed to the terms.

"They're either going to have to have the home cleaned up or be in another home, and they're going to have to ensure that there's adult supervision there," Tippetts said.

The final conditions, however, will be determined by the state Attorney General's Office and ruled on by Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Anderson on Friday.

The children, meanwhile, were undergoing physicals and mental health evaluations, Tippetts said.

DCFS officials said the children are siblings and lived in the home, which was occupied and registered as a day-care center by Maurine Gustafson. Tippetts said Gustafson and Kingston said they were husband and wife, and they were believed to be the parents.