If you’ve seen Netflix’s new docuseries Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, you might be wondering: what happened to Warren Jeffs and where is he now?
As the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), whom members of the church refer to as the “Prophet” and believe to be a direct mouthpiece of God, Jeffs has been leading the church since the previous leader, his father Rulon Jeffs, died in 2002.
A denomination of Mormonism, the FLDS branched out on their own around the turn of the century in order to continue practicing polygamy after it was outlawed by the larger Mormon church, also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Warren Jeffs has been in prison since 2011 when he was given a life sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl, plus another 20 years for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl, both of whom he had taken as wives. He was 56 years old at the time of his conviction.
Former members of the FLDS told The New York Times in 2005 that Warren Jeffs had as many as 70 wives. According to Netflix’s Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, that number ultimately rose to 78 wives before he was arrested, with 24 of Jeffs’ brides being under age when he married them in private ceremonies.
According to a statement given to CNN by the Texas Attorney General’s Office in 2011, Jeffs must serve at least 35 years of his life sentence and half of his other sentence. But according to his inmate information listed on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, he’ll be eligible for parole 16 years from now on July 22, 2038.
Today, Jeffs is 66 years old. He’s currently housed at the Louis C. Powledge Unit, a men’s prison in Palestine, Texas. Reps for Jeffs and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the docuseries.
In 2007, a Utah court also convicted Jeffs on two counts of rape as an accomplice for facilitating the illegal marriages of under aged girls to older husbands. However, that conviction and subsequent 10-year sentence were later overturned by Utah’s Supreme Court.
Jeffs has continued to run the FLDS from behind bars since 2011, issuing orders and even delivering sermons over the phone to his followers.
Netflix’s Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a Participant and Ark Media Production directed by Rachel Dretzin (Who Killed Malcolm X, Far From the Tree). Executive Producers include Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Miura Kite, Zachary Herrmann, Rachel Dretzin, and Alison Dammann. Grace McNally serves as co-director and producer.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey begins streaming June 8 on Netflix.
Main Image: Rulon (left) and Warren Jeffs (right) pictured in Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey courtesy of Netflix