FROM THE WHITE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. CR-2014-105]
HONORABLE ROBERT EDWARDS, JUDGE
Dunagin, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge
Fletcher Allen was convicted in the White County Circuit
Court on thirty counts of possessing child pornography and
three counts of computer exploitation of a child. His sole
argument on appeal is that the State failed to present
sufficient evidence to support his conviction. We affirm.
Statement of Facts
March 25, 2014, Allen was charged by felony information with
thirty counts of distributing, possessing, or viewing matter
depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, in
violation of Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-27-602 (Repl.
2013), and three counts of second-degree computer
exploitation of a child, in violation of section 5-27-605
(Repl. 2013). At a jury trial on those charges held December
9, 2014, Chad Meli, a special agent for the Arkansas Attorney
General's Office, testified that he specialized in
computer-related investigations and that he was given
information about Allen's computer IP address.
was able to connect to Allen's computer from a remote
location and download a shared folder from that particular IP
address. Meli conducted five downloads between October 31,
2013, and November 17, 2013. The downloaded files contained
depictions of children being sexually assaulted. Meli
testified regarding the specific contents of the downloaded
files, and he explained that, from his remote connection, he
discovered the IP address belonged to Allen, whose physical
address was in Beebe. After Allen's identity had been
discovered and his address had been located, surveillance was
conducted on his residence.
search warrant was issued, and it was executed on Allen's
apartment on December 19, 2013. Meli testified that Allen was
the sole occupant of the apartment and answered the door to
police. Meli also stated that he never saw anyone other than
Allen come and go from the apartment during the surveillance.
He said that there was no evidence that anyone other than
Allen lived at the apartment. Meli described the
circumstances regarding the search as follows:
We identify ourselves, who we work with. We secure the
person, cleared the apartment. I go back out and make a bit
more detail with Mr. Allen. I told him I had a search warrant
for the residence and to look for computer evidence related
to a cyber-crimes investigation. It was at that time when I
was explaining that to him, going through my normal speech,
where he leans over quickly to his right where there's a
laptop computer and grabs some cables out of the computer. It
appeared to be a USB. To prevent him from destroying evidence
I grabbed him by the arm and his shirt, took him to the
ground and secured him.
to the warrant, police found evidence that included a Toshiba
laptop computer, a Western Digital external hard drive-which
was the device from which Allen removed the cables at the
time of his arrest-a desktop personal computer, an Hitachi
hard drive, and an ACER laptop computer. The items seized
were taken to the forensic lab. There, technicians discovered
three of the pictures recovered from one device had been
manufactured by "taking the face of a child known to the
suspect and then placing that face on the body of another
image, an illegal sexual image of a child." Meli's
investigation led him to discover that the child known to
Allen was his granddaughter, and Allen's daughter
verified that information.
daughter also testified that she was not aware of anyone else
living with her father. However, she stated that a man named
Steve, who had passed away shortly after "all this"
began, had stayed "in and out" of her father's
apartment. She said that she was not aware of anyone besides
Steve who had access to her father's apartment.
Cone, a special agent with the Arkansas Attorney
General's Office, testified that he was involved in
executing the search warrant on Allen's apartment and
that no one else was at home at the time and there was no
evidence that anyone else was living there. He said that he
conducted on-site previews of the evidence found, which
included the Toshiba laptop computer, the Western Digital
external hard drive, and the Hitachi hard drive. He said that
the Hitachi and Toshiba were found to contain a number of
still images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation.
Shackelford, another special agent with the attorney
general's office, testified that he prepared a report
with the findings on the evidence gathered pursuant to the
search warrant. His report covered well over fifty gigabytes
of actual evidentiary data discovered on the computers and
hard drives. He found that the Western Digital hard drive was
encrypted, but he was able to decode the passwords. He
testified that he had found hidden folders on the devices
containing child pornography. He said that there was an
excessive number of files and videos that he found hidden,
totaling 52.9 gigabytes of data. His testimony was that there
were well over 1000 files of a graphic nature, and of those,
hundreds were ...