House of Yahweh Leader Charged for Making Death Threats

Published 04/16 2014 08:40PM

Updated 04/16 2014 08:53PM

A high ranking member of the House of Yahweh in Callahan County has been arrested for allegedly threatening the life of a Taylor County State District Judge.

The House of Yahweh is a religious community, that some consider a cult. The group's compound is on several acres in Callahan county near Eula. The group was founded by Israel Hawkins, a former Abilene Police Officer and most members change their last names to Hawkins.

The investigation by the Texas Rangers began after a series of 96 e-mails sent over a six hour period. According to court documents, those e-mails were sent from Tsephanyah Hawkins to a law firm representing them in a civil case. The case the e-mails referred to was the Yedidiah Hawkins sexual assault case. Yedidiah Hawkins is serving a prison sentence for molesting a 6 year old girl, and that girls family is now suing the House of Yahweh.

In the emails, Tsephanyah Hawkins threatened a member of the law firm that was representing the Hawkins group in court. Hawkins also threatened opposing council in the civil case and Judge John Weeks who is presiding over the civil dispute.

Kepha Acemont former member of the group said that this particular civil case is what caused him to leave the group. "He is a child molestor and I did not join that place to be apart of that," says Kepha Arcemont. "He came there with his mother and father 20 years ago, worked himself up the ranks, became a deacon and then an elder. He learned alot about the legal system, so he was like the House of Yahweh, common law attorney," Arcemont explains.

He also says those threats should be taken seriously. "He's a dangerous guy. He's and elder there, not to say that all elders are dangerous," explains Arcemont.

According to court documents, the emails that were sent March 27, 2014 mentioned shooting, stabbing or the use of explosives. Tsephanyah was charged with 3 counts of obstruction and retaliation.
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