Jacqueline Lebaron Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct Religious Beliefs

HOUSTON—Jacqueline Lebaron, 46, the last of several members of the LeBaron family and “Lamb of God” religious sect charged for their involvement in a series of murders in 1988 in Houston and elsewhere, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct religious beliefs, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

United States District Judge Sim Lake accepted Lebaron’s guilty plea at a hearing this morning and has set sentencing for Sept. 8, 2011.

Originally indicted in 1992, Lebaron had been a fugitive for more than 15 years until she was located in Honduras through the dogged efforts of the FBI. She was arrested in May 2010 after being deported from Honduras to the United States. The defendant’s conviction is based on crimes that occurred in June 1988.

On June 27, 1988, William Heber 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 Lebaron, traveled to the 6000 block of Rena Street in Houston where he met with Duane Chynoweth and Duane’s eight-year-old daughter, Jenny Chynoweth. During the course of this meeting, Richard Lebaron shot and killed both Duane and Jenny Chynoweth. 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. The victims had been ordered murdered by Aaron Lebaron, the leader of the Lebaron family, because they had left the religious cult. William, Patricia and Richard Lebaron and Douglas Barlow have all been convicted and have or are presently serving prison sentences.

Jacqueline Lebaron assisted in the conspiracy by providing financial support to her siblings participating in the murders by providing them travel money. The conspiracy conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years’ incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000. There is no parole in the federal system. Jacqueline Lebaron will remain in custody of the United States without bond pending her sentencing hearing.

The case was investigated by the special agents with the Houston Police Department and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ted Imperato and Richard D. Hanes.

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