Prophet of Utah doomsday cult pleads guilty to child bigamy

SALT LAKE CITY — A self-styled prophet who helped lead a Utah doomsday cult that believed in polygamy pleaded guilty to sodomy and child bigamy charges in a central Utah courtroom Wednesday.

John Coltharp, 34, agreed to the plea deal in Manti, Utah, in exchange for prosecutors dropping kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges.

"I am guilty. That is a fact," he said, according to KUTV-TV .

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 8. He faces up to life in prison.

Coltharp and his friend Samuel W. Shaffer, 34, formed a group called the Knights of the Crystal Blade based on arcane Mormon ideas long abandoned by the mainstream church.

Each man believed himself to be married to two young girls ages 4 through 8, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say both men held the title of prophet at different points.

Sheriff's deputies investigating the group in December discovered the four girls in barrels and an abandoned trailer on a makeshift compound of shipping containers in the southern Utah desert about 275 miles (440 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

A mother of two of the girls had reported them missing along with two of her sons. The men brought the children there months before in preparation for an apocalypse or in hopes of gaining followers, authorities said.

Shaffer pleaded guilty this year and was sentenced in May to up to life in prison.

A third man who joined the group after meeting its founders on Facebook, Robert Shane Roe, 34, was charged with child sexual abuse last week.

Two other followers are cooperating with investigators, but could face charges for obstruction of justice in the future.

Must Read

Valeant's rosy forecast and promised changes,...

Aug 9, 2016

Drugmaker Valeant posts big 2Q loss, but execs tout turn-around plan and reassured investors drive...

Criticism of lavish funeral for Anne of Romania

Aug 10, 2016

The presidents of Romania and Moldova pay their last respects to Anne of Romania at a 19th-century...

Zambia voting for president amid unprecedented...

Aug 10, 2016

Zambia, former 'model for Africa,' votes for president amid striking political violence

Legal group issues private emails Clinton did not...

Aug 9, 2016

The State Department has turned over 44 previously-unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges that...

Image of Asia: Starting the hajj pilgrimage from...

Aug 10, 2016

Image of Asia: A man is greeted by relatives and neighbors as he leaves for the hajj from Srinagar...

About Us

The Daily Feeder, keep your life updated with the world’s most important political, business, and cultural news 24/7 like no any other news network can.

Contact us: sales[at]thedailyfeeder.com

Subscribe Now!