Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Tuesday, July 17, 2001

CORNYN OBTAINS GUILTY PLEA IN N.E. TEXAS CHILD PORN CASE

Jason Firth Gets 13 Years in First-Ever Bowie County Case

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and the AG's Internet Bureau obtained a guilty plea from Jason Firth of New Boston as Texarkana's first-ever child pornography case headed to jury trial this morning.

Firth, 25, agreed to a 13-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea on charges of promotion and possession of child pornography via the Internet. These offenses are second- and third-degree felonies, respectively. Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Kristie Wright assisted prosecutor Maya Guerra and investigators Scott Hefner and Matt Pearce of the Attorney General's Texas Internet Bureau in bringing the case. Formal sentencing before Bowie County District Judge John Miller is set for July 30.

"As the first among a series of Internet Bureau cases reaches trial, it's important to point out the seriousness of these crimes," said Attorney General Cornyn. "This defendant chose to plead guilty and serve 13 years behind bars rather than face a jury and risk an even greater sentence."

Assistant District Attorney Wright added, "The charges against Mr. Firth were the first of their kind in Bowie County, and District Attorney Bobby Lockhart is pleased with the outcome and with the assistance from Mr. Cornyn's office. Hopefully this will send a message to those who participate in this type of crime that it will not be tolerated. We also hope that the many innocent victims of all types of child pornography will feel some sense of justice."

Investigators from the AG's Internet Bureau and the Bowie County Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant and searched Firth's home last January, seizing a computer and related equipment he used to engage in the trafficking of child pornography.

A detailed forensics review of this equipment by the Internet Bureau's technical experts yielded the graphic evidence for charging Firth with these crimes.

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