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Tue, Apr 25, 2017 11:24 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-20 around the region
Plea, jail time likely in child porn case
Attorney for Paintsville man won't comment on deal, pre-trial hearing set for Tuesday in federal court
Scott Perry
PAINTSVILLE — A Johnson County man who claimed he had been set up by a vindictive family member will reportedly enter a guilty plea next week to a federal indictment accusing him of possession of child pornography.

Former Paintsville radio newsman Craig Reynolds, of Hager Hill, was said to be discussing a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, but neither Reynolds, his Pikeville attorney, nor the U.S. Attorney's Office has confirmed that a guilty plea is forthcoming.

A pre-trial conference in the case is set for Tuesday in U.S. District Court in London. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Reynolds will change his not guilty plea to guilty at that hearing, and he will be sentenced to at least two years in federal prison.

Reynolds' home telephone has apparently been disconnected, and he could not be reached this week to comment on the report of his plea change.

He was accused and arrested last month in relation to charges of possessing pornographic material involving minor-aged children after a sealed federal indictment was opened and served on him at his Hager Hill home.

A guilty plea in the case would represent a complete about-face for Reynolds, who told The Big Sandy News in an exclusive interview earlier this year that he was not guilty of the child porn allegations and was, himself, a victim of foul play.

When FBI agents searched his home and confiscated computer equipment and materials in February, Reynolds vehemently denied any association with child porn, and he claimed he had been set up on the charge by his stepdaughter, Jennifer Williamson, and her boyfriend at the time, Ernie Barber, who had served as a Johnson County court bailiff.

Williamson, Barber and another man, former Johnson County deputy Clyde Woods, had been accused in Madison County of scheming to defraud an insurance company through a false burglary report, but none of the three have ever been formally charged with crimes in connection with that case.

Reynolds told the BSN in February that Williamson and Barber both had access to his home computer, and they had threatened to report him to police on pornography allegations if Reynolds did not give them money.

Reynolds said he did give money to his stepdaughter, but Williamson apparently turned computer disks containing pornographic images over to Johnson County Sheriff Bill Witten's office, which forwarded the disks to the FBI.

Reynolds was arrested May 5, more than two months after the initial search of his home. He resigned his job with Paintsville radio station WKLW shortly after the February search of his home.

His Pikeville attorney, Steve Owens, has denied any knowledge of a plea arrangement between Reynolds and federal authorities, saying only that Reynolds' case had been set for trial for July 14.


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