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Prosecutors have decided to retry the Williamsburg child pornography case that ended in a hung jury last week and may directly indict the suspect on three more charges.
Matthew John Stickle, who faces 22 felony counts of possession with intent to distribute child pornography — nine of which are considered a first offense, and 13 of which are considered a subsequent offense — appeared in court Wednesday to schedule a new jury trial.
His first trial, held last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, ended in a mistrial after a 12-person jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict.
In addition to the 22 felony counts of possession with intent to distribute child pornography Stickle faces, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Maureen Kufro said in court she was planning to indict Stickle on three more of the same charges.
The subject of those three potential charges is three videos found on Stickle’s laptop by Lt. Scott Little, an investigator with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Kufro said in court documents the videos were “filmed by the defendant” and depict “sexual crimes [Stickle] committed against a real child.”
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office originally sought to charge Stickle with producing child pornography for each of the three videos — which prosecutors say were made in New York — but Stickle’s attorney Patricia Nagel argued in a January 2015 motion there was “no evidence such acts were performed in Virginia,” and the Commonwealth’s Attorney had no jurisdiction to prosecute.
In a Jan. 26, 2015 motion, Kufro said her office “might” lack jurisdiction and therefore would not pursue the three charges.
Kufro asked that the manufacturing of pornography charges be amended to possession with intent to distribute like the other 22 charges Stickle faces, but withdrew her motion to amend on Feb. 11, saying she may pursue those again in the future.
Kufro told Judge Michael McGinty Wednesday she was seeking indictments for the three videos allegedly depicting Stickle with a child, but said she would be asking for the child pornography possession charges, not manufacturing.
Nagel argued in her motions the court lacks the authority to take any action on the three charges because it has no jurisdiction.
The three videos allegedly depicting and made by Stickle came up in his first jury trial last week when Nagel asked the investigator during cross-examination whether he pursued any other suspects who may have had access to Stickle’s computer, such as his roommate in New York.
When prompted by Kufro as to why he did not pursue other suspects, Little said he saw Stickle in the videos with a minor and identified him as the primary suspect.
Stickle’s new three-day jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 21 through 23 starting at 8:30 a.m. each day.
Nagel said she planned to file motions before the trial, including one asking to have hold the trial in a different courthouse due to the “excessive publicity” on the case in Williamsburg and James City County.