• Northfield man takes plea deal in pornography case
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | January 08,2014
     

    BARRE — A Northfield man has accepted a plea deal on charges involving child pornography.

    Homer Smith, 53, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to five counts of felony possession of child pornography. Smith agreed to a sentence of three to 15 years, all suspended except one year to serve. Smith will also be placed on probation for 15 years.

    Judge Thomas Zonay ordered a pre-sentence investigation before the sentence is imposed.

    Smith had previously been convicted of vehicular homicide in Kansas in 1993.

    According to the affidavit from the Vermont attorney general’s office, a detective with the office conducted an investigation into child pornography trafficking in November 2012. The detective investigated the peer-to-peer file sharing network eDonkey.

    The detective said he found an IP address, later found to be Smith’s, that had possessed and/or offered to distribute two videos of child pornography. The detective then got a search warrant for Smith’s home on Summer Street, according to the affidavit.

    When the detective carried out the warrant, Smith was interviewed and admitted using peer-to-peer software to download child pornography onto his computer, according to authorities. He told the detective the youngest child depicted in the pornography was 8 or 9 years old and that most of the children in the files were 14 or 15 years old.

    Smith told the detective he started downloading child pornography years ago and could not give a reason why. Smith then told the detective which hard drive the pornography was on and, after confirming there was child pornography on the hard drive, it was seized for examination.

    The detective said 62 files on the hard drive were suspected to be child pornography. However, only five files were described in the affidavit, because a forensic search of the rest of the hard drive had yet to be completed.

    In court Tuesday, Smith was overheard saying to his wife, “I can’t figure out how my life came to this.”

    According to court records, Smith was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide in 1993 in Morris County in Kansas. A request for information about the case from the Morris County attorney’s office was not returned by deadline.

    eric.blaisdell

    @timesargus.com

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