Judge addresses witness lists and opening statements in Josh Duggar child porn pretrial hearing

State News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Judge Timothy L. Brooks wrapped up a November 18 pretrial hearing in the upcoming Josh Duggar child porn trial by addressing the relevance of witnesses on both sides as well as having the prosecution and defense agree on the length of opening statements.

After initially requesting up to 45 minutes for an opening statement, the prosecution agreed on keeping it to 30 minutes as long as the defense does as well.

The judge commented on the possibility of the attorneys using graphic displays during opening statements, such as a PowerPoint presentation. He stated that such a visual aid, if it can be put into words, can be used without prior clearance.

Items that the two sides agree will be admitted as evidence can also be shown to the jury at that time. The judge added that showing a “weird graphic” would be better served if cleared by the other side beforehand.

The judge proceeded to review certain members of each side’s potential witness lists, confirming their connections to the case.

The review began with the prosecution’s list and covered over a dozen potential witnesses. They ranged from employees and frequent customers of Duggar’s to “fact witnesses” that will testify about statements made to them.

When asked how long they anticipated the trial might take, the prosecution estimated that their case could entail “a solid three days of evidence,” with a chance of “bleeding into a fourth.”

The defense had no objections to the prosecution’s witness list, although they reserved the right to do so later due to the scope of what possible testimony might include.

The analysis of the defense’s list covered four possible witnesses. Two are investigators hired by the defense that they state will provide “non-hearsay factual testimony.”

Another is a computer forensics expert, and the last is a witness that had access to Duggar’s office and the computer at issue in the case.

The judge’s November 17 “omnibus order” included ruling that the testimony from the witness at Duggar’s office will be admissible at trial.

Each side also has other potential witnesses that were not brought up during the conference.

The hearing concluded with the defense team bringing up a “small issue” and requesting a sidebar to discuss it. All attorneys for both sides approached the bench and discussed the matter.

Judge Brooks then adjourned court at 11:43 a.m.

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for November 29. Jury selection is set to begin on November 30 at the Fayetteville District Court.

Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.

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