SAN ANGELO, Texas — A polygamist sect leader convicted of child sexual assault walked out of his sentencing hearing in protest Friday, after reading a statement he claimed was from God. The statement promised a “whirlwind of judgment” on the world if God’s “humble servant” wasn’t set free.

Warren Jeffs, 55, represented himself during an eight-day trial that ended with his conviction on two counts of sexual assault. The same jury must now decide his punishment, which could be up to 119 years to life in prison.

But before the punishment phase began and jurors had even been brought back into court Friday, Jeffs said, “I request the full removal of myself as an objection to all that has been presented.”

He asked to keep serving as his own attorney, but state District Judge Barbara Walther said he couldn’t leave and continue to represent himself at the same time. Instead, she ordered two lawyers who had been Jeffs’ standby counsel, Deric Walpole and Emily Munoz Detoto, to represent him.

Walther ordered a recess, Jeffs never returned to court, and the proceedings continued without him.

Jeffs is the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. The more than 10,000 FLDS members nationwide see Jeffs as a prophet who is God’s spokesman on Earth.

Prosecutors’ strategy during sentencing involves showing jurors evidence of Jeffs committing a slew of alleged crimes not mentioned during his trial.

For starters, Jeffs had 78 wives along with his legal spouse, and 24 of them were under age 17, said Eric Nichols, lead prosecutor for the Texas attorney general’s office, which is handling the case. Nichols also said he would show that Jeffs committed six other sexual assaults and either witnessed or performed more than 500 polygamist marriages, as well as 67 other sect marriages involving underage girls.

All of that is separate from the assaults on two girls, ages 12 and 15, that Jeffs was convicted of Thursday. Prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child with the older victim and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting the younger one. They played other tapes in which Jeffs was heard instructing as many as a dozen of his young wives on how to please him sexually — and thus, he told them, please God.