Smithfield man waives preliminary hearing and pleads not guilty to child pornography charges

Booking photo for Kaleb A. Witherspoon (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A 21-year-old Smithfield man has pleaded “not guilty” to downloading child pornography. Kaleb A. Witherspoon was arrested in February after a search warrant was executed to his home.

Witherspoon participated in a preliminary hearing in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon, appearing virtually by web conference. He was previously charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, a second-degree felony.

The hearing was originally scheduled in March but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors allege that officers obtained a warrant to search Witherspoon’s residence after receiving a tip that he was downloading child pornography. They searched his home and located several electronic devices that were seized as evidence. Officers also located drug paraphernalia and weapons.

During Tuesday’s court appearance, public defender Shannon Demler told the court they wished to waive their right to the hearing, where Judge Thomas Willmore would have reviewed prosecutor’s evidence and determined whether Witherspoon would be bound over for trial. He said they were working on a possible plea agreement with prosecutors but did not disclose any of the details of the deal.

Judge Willmore ordered Witherspoon to appear again in court for a pre-trial conference, Nov. 10.

Witherspoon remains out of jail on bail. He could face up to 15-years in prison.

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