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Jacqueline Lebaron Sentenced to Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 08, 2011
  • Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000

HOUSTON—U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake has sentenced Jacqueline Lebaron, 46, to three years in federal prison for conspiring with other members of her family to obstruct religious beliefs, United States Attorney Jose Angel Moreno announced today.

Originally indicted in 1992, Lebaron was a fugitive for almost 20 years before being arrested in May 2010 in Honduras. Lebaron was thereafter deported by Honduran authorities to the United States and in June 2011 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs arising from her role in murders committed in June 1988 in Houston and elsewhere by members of her family. At her re-arraignment, LeBaron admitted that in May 1988 acting on the instructions of Heber Lebaron, her brother, she provided $500 to her sister, Cynthia, and instructed her to travel to Houston to begin to prepare for the murders of the “Sons of Perdition.”

In the 1970s, Ervil LeBaron created a church called the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God, while simultaneously declaring himself to be a prophet of God. As the leader of this church, Ervil’s directives and orders were considered the word of God. Ervil LeBaron taught his followers that anyone who was a traitor to his teachings or left the church should be put to death. These individuals were referred to as the “Sons of Perdition.” Duane Chynoweth, Mark Chynoweth, and Ed Marston were members of the church. However, Duane, Mark, and Ed left the church to pursue their own religious beliefs after Ervil LeBaron was convicted in the state of Utah for murder. While serving his prison term for murder, Ervil drafted a document which he named the “Book of the New Covenant” in which he stated that the Chynoweths and Marston had betrayed the Kingdom of God and had become “Sons of Perdition.” Ervil ordered his remaining followers to murder the Chynoweths and Marston for betraying the Kingdom of God. The vast majority of Ervil’s remaining followers consisted of his wives and many children. Ervil LeBaron died in prison in 1981; however, his orders to murder the “Sons of Perdition,” contained in the Book of the New Covenant, were preached and taught to his followers after his death.

As leader of his father’s church, Aaron LeBaron ordered that the “Sons of Perdition” be killed. Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron was also one of Ervil’s children and believed that the teachings of her father should be followed. In preparation for the killing of the “Sons of Perdition,” Douglas Barlow and Richard LeBaron stole pickup trucks from the southern United States, and Natasha LeBaron, Nicole LeBaron, Cynthia LeBaron, and Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron would drive the vehicles across the border into Mexico where they would be sold. It was with the profits from this venture that the execution of Aaron LeBaron’s order to kill the “Sons of Perdition” was financed.

At her re-arraignment hearing, Jacqueline Lebaron admitting having instructed her sister, Cynthia, to travel to Houston and begin to prepare for the murders of the “Sons of Perdition” in May 1988. Jacqueline Tarsa LeBaron provided Cynthia with $500 to finance her trip. Cynthia met William Heber LeBaron and Patricia LeBaron in Houston and ultimately located victims Mark and Duane Chynoweth. Subsequently, William Heber, Cynthia, and Patricia traveled to Dallas, Texas, where the group met Douglas Barlow, Natasha LeBaron, and Richard LeBaron. Natasha LeBaron provided the group with approximately $2,500 derived from the group’s auto theft activities to assist in the planning of the murders. In the Dallas area, the group located Edward Marston. While planning the murders, the group stole pickup trucks and license plates from the Dallas area. They purchased suits, false beards, three handguns, holsters, marine radios, and costume makeup. On June 27, 1988, William Heber LeBaron, with the direct assistance of his siblings Cynthia LeBaron and Natasha LeBaron, entered a business located at 2102 Blaylock in Houston and shot Mark Chynoweth three times, killing him. At approximately the same time, Richard Lebaron, with the direct assistance of his sibling, Patricia, traveled to the 6000 block of Rena Street in Houston, where he met with Duane Chynoweth and Duane’s 8-year-old daughter, Jenny Chynoweth, and killed both of them. At approximately the same time, Douglas Barlow entered an appliance business located in Irving, Texas, where he shot Edward Marston, who subsequently died of those injuries approximately four hours later.

After hearing from family members of each of the victims in this case, Judge Lake further ordered Jacqueline LeBaron to pay $134,000 in restitution to the victims. Jacqueline Lebaron is the last defendant to be convicted in this case.

The investigation leading the charges in this case was conducted by the Houston Police Department and the FBI with substantial assistance from the Phoenix, Ariz., Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ted Imperato and Richard D. Hanes prosecuted this case.

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