Peter Mallory’s trial continued Thursday with testimony from LaGrange police detectives investigating the case and from the department’s digital evidence analyst.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar began, followed by detective William Nelson with their brief testimonies on their accounts of the day police searched Mallory’s TV station.
Detective Wayne Cato was then called to testify. He explained that Sgt. Marshall McCoy assigned him to watch Mallory, while the others searched the TV-33 station, which Mallory owned at the time.
While monitoring Mallory, Cato had a recorder on his person to privately record any conversation between himself and Mallory.
The audio from Cato’s recording was played for the court to account for one of Mallory’s charges, tampering with evidence.
After scattered conversations throughout the audio, Mallory asked Cato for permission to turn on the fan, which was plugged underneath his desk. Cato gave permission to do so.At this time, Cato said Mallory went under the desk to plug in the fan.
Mallory then asked Cato, whom was standing near the front end of the desk, to help jiggle the wires to get the fan on. Cato said that the wires did not appear to be tangled, so he decided to step behind the desk where Mallory was, in an attempt to assist him. As he walked behind the desk, he said Mallory was pulling a hard drive from a computer and had dropped it into a card board box that was located right beside the computer.
“Marshall, come out!” Cato yelled to McCoy to come into Mallory’s office to help get Mallory up from the floor, while telling Mallory to come out from under the desk. “Marshall! Marshall! Come out. He pulled a hard drive out of the computer.”
“I did.” was heard on the audio, which Cato said was the voice of Mallory.
Mallory was placed in handcuffs once McCoy entered the room.
“I saw Mallory take the hard drive out and place it in the box next to the computer,” Cato assured to the court. “There’s no way his hand could’ve gotten shagged on cords.
Defense Attorney Ed Garland observed that on pictures that were taken of Mallory’s desk, there were papers on top of the box that Mallory allegedly dropped the hard drive into. Garland questioned why the papers were there if Mallory supposedly had dropped the hard drive into the box.
The image was taken after the incident, and questions are raised as to if Mallory could’ve put them there with his right hand as Cato was trying to pull him up with his left hand, or if they were accidentally placed there.
Two more witnesses, Scott Huntsbury of the FBI, and Brian Pochert, a police detective in Washington, were asked to identify specific minors from pictures that were found on Mallory’s drives. The officers knew the victims from previous cases and verified their names and ages, identifying them as minors.
Scott Lewis, digital evidence analyst for the LaGrange Police Department, was then called to testify. After questioning his background, the prosecution and defense deemed Lewis to be a computer expert.
Lewis examined the drive referred to as WD 500 — the drive that Mallory allegedly dropped into the box — two drives that were on the computer under his desk, referred to as WD Top and WD Bottom and four drives that were recovered from a locked tool box in Mallory’s office, referred to as Item 21, Item 22, Item 24, and Item 25.
Lewis said he found suspected child porn on WD 500, Item 22, Item 24 and Item 25. He said that WD 500 had a majority of the porn.
The court showed jurors some of the pictures and brief parts of videos from the files found on the hard drives. Some jurors and even Lewis cringed, covered their mouths or turned away from the screen during the viewing of the images and videos.
After the images were shown, Lewis said that about 740 videos were found on the drives.
Lewis explained that there was a folder labeled “other” on WD 500 that contained 13 other folders. He noted that all the files in this folder contained some form of porn.
For the jurors to better understand computers, Lewis was asked to explain to the jurors how computers and software like Windows operates, by using screen shots of slides he had prepared from one of Mallory’s drives.
He demonstrated how to view recycling bins, how to see typed URLs, how to save favorites, and that when using BearShare there is an option to view files before a download is made.
Lewis said that Mallory’s recycling bin was empty. In the URL of the screen shot it showed that WD 500 had been connected, a torrent was saved in his favorites amongst others and the option to view files before downloads was turned off on Mallory’s computer.
The shots showed downloaded files and where they were connected, displaying 374 URLs, all containing contents of child porn.
The day ended with Lewis’ testimony and will proceed today.