Josh Duggar Trial: Defense rests, expert witness on prosecution hammer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – Concluding testimony during the Josh Duggar child pornography case Tuesday afternoon in federal court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The defense only called two witnesses, and the prosecution responded with a single rebuttal witness.

After an extended lunch break for the court to handle some business, defense attorney Justin Gelfand continued to examine digital forensics expert Michele Bush. He started the question about a computer screenshot with reflections found on an iPhone backup on Duggar’s personal Macbook Pro laptop.

Bush asserts that “just because the phone exists doesn’t mean the phone has taken it”, noting that the image can be received in a text message or by other means.

She also discussed the “serious limitations” that come with the “manual sorting” process of checking devices during a search, rather than seizing them for further investigation.

She said inspecting a device in the field is like “any normal user would look at it.”

When diverting, prosecutor William Clayman also chose to question the reflection.

“You don’t know anything, do you?” he asked, referring to whether the image was taken by an iPhone 8.

Then he asked some more questions about things the witness did not know or could not confirm. She has never reviewed any employee records at the lot where Duggar works, and she “doesn’t know if there was any actual activity in the date range” related to the car sales software. in the relevant dates in May 2019.

She also admitted that it “didn’t know” if the streaming videos were only viewed locally or elsewhere.

The distinction between files that were deleted or never existed was a point of contention during further interrogation, with Bush testifying that the logs showed that remote access could have been overwritten at the time. her test scores.

Clayman notes that those file types may never have existed.

As for the defense’s second and final witness, they called Daniel Wilcox, a former Homeland Security Investigations task force member and Rogers Police Department narcotics officer.

Sketch of defense attorney Justin Gelfand questioning witness Daniel Wilcox in court on December 7, 2021. | Artist: John Kushmaul

Wilcox was part of a team sent to execute an aborted search warrant on the property adjacent to Duggar’s car.

He was also sent to the undercover Motorcars Wholesale to verify that Duggar worked there. He made two visits, posing as a potential buyer. He observes a computer and an iPhone at the business premises.

He was not part of the actual search warrant executed at the lot, and had little knowledge of it.

“I don’t know what their plans are,” he said.

His testimony was brief, and the interrogation of prosecuting attorney Dustin Roberts was even shorter. All he had at Wilcox’s endorsement was to know that the location of the first search warrant was targeted for Duggar’s IP address and that his secret mission was simply to verify that Duggar was in possession. present at the lot.

The defense then halted their case just before 2 p.m. Then there’s a substantial sidebar, which continues in the judge’s room.

Prosecutors then called computer forensics expert James Fottrell as a rebuttal witness, specifically in response to some of Bush’s testimony.

Fottrell testified that he watched Bush’s time in the stands and viewed her print-screen exhibits. As Bush did, Fottrell provided several “illustrated exhibits” for the jury, detailing the simple process of downloading and installing a Linux partition.

He’s proven that downloading the Tor browser and VLC media player is just as easy.

For the copy stream URL that the defense presents as complex, Fottrell shows that it is as simple as cutting and pasting a short web address.

He also mentioned the port number of HP computers, which defense experts say is a serious security hole.

“Every program that needs to communicate has a port number,” he explains. “It just means it’s a port that’s configured to be used by the software.”

He concluded by saying that there was no evidence of HP remote access.

Sketches by computer forensics expert James Fottrell in court on December 7, 2021. | Artist: John Kushmaul

Gelfand and Clayman then took turns questioning Fottrell directly.

Gelfand is pleased with the fact that witness exhibits have been built recently. Defense attorneys also questioned the validity of Fottrell’s download examples.

The build numbers of the apps he downloads are different now compared to May 2019.

“The software really doesn’t exist,” Gelfand said of the newer version.

Meanwhile, Fottrell questioned several of Bush’s methods in the same vein.

“I really don’t quite get it,” he says of her use of to try to recreate the state of the Linux app store at an earlier date. “That’s not how I do my research.”

Clayman concluded his testimony by asking their computer forensics expert to reiterate some of the points the prosecution made at the outset:

  • HP users from Duggar’s office do not need to use the command line at all to install any related applications.
  • There is no evidence that the computer was accessed remotely as of May 2019.
  • Someone was physically behind the HP keyboard, downloading files on the computer.

With full testimony, Judge Timothy L. Brooks called for a recess at 4:17 p.m.

He gave jurors a nightly reminder of their responsibilities, then explained that he would give them full legal instructions for Wednesday’s trial. Then, each side will present its closing arguments.

The jury is expected to receive the case and begin deliberation on Wednesday.

Before the gallery ended, Nexstar’s KNWA/FOX24 spoke to Jim Bob Duggar, the defendant’s father, asking him for his thoughts on the day’s testimony.

“We just want the truth to come out,” he said. “And we appreciate your prayers for our family.”

Duggar, who appeared on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” was charged in April. Prosecutors say child pornography was downloaded to a computer in May 2019.

TLC pulled the reality TV show in 2015 because it was revealed that Duggar had sexually abused his four sisters and a babysitter. In 2015, Duggar publicly apologized for addicted to his pornography and cheated on his wife, calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever.”

Duggar’s trial is underway as his father, Jim Bob Duggar, runs in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas. Jim Bob Duggar has also been featured on the TLC program and previously served in the Arkansas House.

Jim Bob Duggar is one of four Republicans seeking their party’s nomination. Early voting will begin on Tuesday and the primary vote is set for December 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Josh Duggar Trial: Defense rests, expert witness on prosecution hammer

Dais Johnston

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