Polk County judge sentences man who had child porn on phone to 2 - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Polk County judge sentences man who had child porn on phone to 25 years in prison

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Jeffrey Bryant (Source; Polk County Jail) Jeffrey Bryant (Source; Polk County Jail)
LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) -

A Polk County judge sentenced a 54-year-old man to 25 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for possession of child pornography Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Andrew Bryant, of Livingston, was arrested in August of 2016 after an employee at a Polk County business found a lost cell phone, went through it in an attempt to return it to its owner, and found several pictures of what he suspected were underage children.

Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon said that the jury found Bryant guilty of felony possession of child pornography Wednesday morning. Bryant appeared in Judge Ernest McClendon’s 258th Judicial District Court for a sentencing hearing Thursday morning.

When Bryant testified at the sentencing hearing, he said, “I want to file for a mistrial right now.”

When McClendon made a decision on the sentencing, he took into account the fact that Bryant has two prior felony convictions on his record - one from Alabama and an aggravated assault charge in Texas.

McClendon told Bryant that the possession of child pornography conviction was his second in Texas, and added it is a “very serious” crime. He added the pictures that were found on Bryant’s phone look very violent.

“It’s hard for the court to minimize the crime,” McClendon said.

McClendon said 25 years was the minimum possible sentence in this case.

Prosecutor Kari Allen argued Bryant's history of violence to make the case where she sought a life sentence.

During the trial the defense argued, that Bryant was unaware of the images on the phone saying that he had lost it, but the jury believed otherwise and convicted him of the charges.

"While we felt that life (sentence) was appropriate, the judge was elected by the citizens of Polk County and we certainly respect his verdict of 25 years," Allen said. 

According to a press release, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s criminal investigation division opened an investigation on July 29, 2016. PCSO detectives learned from a local business that its employees found a cell phone after they opened that morning.

“Detectives were advised that employees discover cellular telephones at times left by customers and attempts to discover the owner by observing photos and contact information on the cell phone in-order to return the items,” the press release stated. “One employee observed several photos which he suspected of being of underage children, leading him to report the matter to the sheriff’s office.”

PCSO detectives with experience investigating child porn cases saw several photos they labeled child pornography when the employee showed them the phone.

At that point, detectives got a search warrant to do a more in-depth search of the phone’s contents and further investigation revealed that phone belongs to Bryant. The PCSO detectives got an arrest warrant for Bryant from Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jamie Jones after they looked through the photos and evidence.

Bryant surrendered to authorities and was booked into the Polk County Jail on Aug. 10, 2016.

According to the affidavit, the detectives on the case have submitted the evidence they obtained to the Greater Houston RCDL Lab in Houston for further analysis.

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