A two-day jury trial set to begin later this month has been moved to September in a child pornography case against a former Conway police officer.
A motion hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday has also been rescheduled in 34-year-old Dustin O'Dell's case.
O'Dell, a Greenbrier resident, was arrested and charged with four counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting child sex.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jordan Crews said the hearings were delayed due to a key witness being out of state.
Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. reset the motion hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 3 in Faulkner County Circuit Court. The two-day jury trial will now begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.
Joseph Blake Hendrix Jr., who represents O'Dell, has requested the case be dropped.
Hendrix filed a motion earlier this year asking the case against O'Dell be dropped because, according to a forensic evaluation, the videos in question were downloaded in 2009.
“O’Dell is charged with knowingly possessing or viewing child pornography,” Hendrix’s motion reads. “The forensic examination of the computer showed that the videos were downloaded, and therefore possessed, on March 28, 2009, and May 9, 2009 — well outside the stature of limitations.”
Hendrix also argued that forensics showed the videos were last viewed in May 2009.
“Moreover, it would have been impossible for O’Dell to view the videos within the period of limitations — the computer had not even worked since early 2012, over three years before this prosecution was commenced in November 2015,” Hendrix further argued.
Crews has argued against the defense's request, stating he is within his rights to file felony charges against O'Dell, who had taken his laptop to a repair store in September 2015 when the technician found suspected child pornography.
“Mr. O’Dell was in possession of his laptop on September 5, 2015, when he delivered it to Luyet’s Computing,” Crews wrote in his response to O’Dell’s motion to dismiss. “Child pornography was discovered on Mr. O’Dell’s computer on September 5, 2015, by Luyet’s Computing. [The] Conway Police Department confirmed the presence of child pornography on Mr. O’Dell’s computer with a forensic examination.”
According to state law, the violation itself states an individual found distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting child sex can be charged.
“The crime of possession of child pornography requires the State to prove that a person possessed or viewed the illicit pornography,” Crews’ motion reads. “The Statute does not require the state to prove the accused view the child pornography.”
O'Dell, who has since retired from the Conway Police Department following the allegations against him, will appear next in circuit court on Aug. 3 regarding the aforementioned case.