Child porn case moves to next stage

Amanda Stowers had multiple child sexual abuse charges facing her move into federal court, while state charges on possessing child porn moved to the next step after a hearing in Pauls Valley last week. (PV Democrat photo)

Photos and videos found in electronic devices, including a selfie of the worst kind, now has a Stratford woman possibly heading to a future trial on child pornography accusations.

Already facing multiple charges in federal court of sexually abusing her own two sons, Amanda Stowers, 37, was back in a Garvin County courtroom last week on two state counts of possessing child porn.

Testimony during a preliminary hearing on July 1 revealed more than 230 photos and some videos contained in computer hard drives and a tablet depicted pornographic acts involving children.

Among the photos found was one of Stowers engaged in a sexual act with a young boy.

All of the devices were found last year in the Stratford apartment where Stowers, her husband Kyle Holman, 38, and their two sons lived.

“I found some hard drives, DVDs, thumb drives laying on the floor under a drawer,” said James Blackwood, who is a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where they lived.

“I thought it was suspicious and got it to authorities.”

Last summer Holman accepted a plea deal for the multiple charges he faced in this case and was sentenced to a life term in prison with all but 22 years suspended.

Holman is now challenging the conviction and prison sentence on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling related to Native American jurisdiction.

On the same grounds Stowers’ state charges on child sexual abuse have been dismissed as those criminal accusations have been moved to federal court.

Both Stowers and Holman still face the child porn charges on the state level leading to Stowers’ recent hearing in a Garvin County District courtroom.

Capt. Jared White of the Garvin County Sheriff’s Department testified 14 electronic devices were found in the defendant’s apartment.

On them were recovered screen shots of pornographic websites, including those showing young boys. All of the 230 photos and five videos stored in the devices showed young children, he said.

“There’s no doubt it was child porn as they showed children ranging from three years old to 15,” White said.

Although he didn’t take the stand this time, the testimony of Stratford police officer Randy Minyard during Stowers’ previous preliminary hearing on the sexual abuse charges still played a part.

“He will testify that she made the statement to him with the prior case that she was having sexual contact with her underage children,” said Garvin County Assistant District Attorney Corey Miner while arguing for the officer's testimony to be allowed.

Miner argued there was a “visible connection” between Stowers having sex with a young boy and materials found in her apartment containing child porn.

“My interest to admitting this is the defendant’s words to (Minyard) that she was having sexual contact with children.”

Stowers’ defense attorney Phillip Morton objected to the two cases being linked.

“There’s not a connection to this case with the old case,” Morton said.

He argued there was no evidence showing Stowers knew what photos and videos were on the seized devices.

Although Garvin County Special District Judge Trisha Misak ruled the officer’s testimony from a different case was not necessary for this proceeding, she did bind Stowers over for trial on the child porn charges. Her next court appearance is now scheduled for late July.

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