The testimony is complete; closing statements coming wednesday
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – Testimony ended in Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial on the afternoon of Dec. 7 at the Western Arkansas District Federal Courthouse in Fayetteville.
The defense called only two witnesses, and the prosecution responded with a single rebuttal witness.
After an extended lunch break so the court could deal with some cases, defense lawyer Justin Gelfand continued his review of digital forensics expert Michele Bush.
He picked up with questions about a photograph of the HP monitor with a glint visible in it. The image was found on an iPhone backup on Duggar’s personal MacBook Pro laptop.
“Just because the phone exists doesn’t mean the phone took it,” she said, noting that the image could have been received in a text message or other means.
She also discussed the “serious limitations” that accompany the “manual triage” process of examining devices during a search, as opposed to seizing them for further investigation.
She said examining a device in the field was “like any normal user would look at.”
During the redirect, prosecutor William Clayman also chose to ask questions about the reflection photo.
“You don’t know at all, do you? He asked, referring to whether the image was taken by an iPhone 8.
He followed up with several other questions on things the witness did not know or could not confirm. She never looked at employee records and was “unsure whether there had been any actual activity within the date range” with respect to Frazer car sales software on the relevant dates in May 2019.
She also admitted to having “no idea” whether the streaming videos were only watched locally or elsewhere.
The distinction between deleted or never-existent files was a point of contention in subsequent questioning, with Bush testifying that logs that allegedly indicated remote access could have been overwritten at the time of his review.
Clayman noted that these kinds of files may simply never have existed.
For the second and final defense witness, they called Daniel Wilcox, a former member of the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force and narcotics officer with the Rogers Police Department.
Wilcox was part of the team tasked with the failed execution of the search warrant on the property adjacent to the Duggar parking lot.
It was also sent undercover to Wholesale Motorcars to verify that Duggar was working there. He made two visits, posing as a potential buyer. He observed a computer and an iPhone in the company.
He was not part of the search warrant executed on the ground and had little knowledge of it.
“I didn’t know what their plan was,” he said.
His testimony was brief and the cross-examination by prosecution lawyer Dustin Roberts was even shorter. All he had had Wilcox attest to was knowing that the first location of the search warrant was for Duggar’s IP address and that his undercover assignment was simply to verify that Duggar was in the parking lot.
With that, the defense ended its arguments shortly before 2 p.m. Then there was a major sidebar, which continued in the judge’s office.
The prosecution then called computer forensics expert James Fottrell as a rebuttal witness, specifically to respond to some of Bush’s testimony.
Fottrell testified that he looked at Bush’s time at the booth and watched his print screen shows. As Bush did, Fottrell provided the jury with “showcase displays,” detailing the simple process of downloading and installing a Linux partition.
He demonstrated that downloading a Tor browser and VLC media player is just as easy.
As for the copy stream URL that the defense presented as complicated, Fottrell has shown that it is as easy as copying and pasting a short web address.
He also addressed the port numbers of the HP computer, which the defense expert described as a serious security breach.
“Every program that needs to communicate has a port number,” he explained. “It just means it’s a port configured for the software to use. “
He concluded by stating that there was no evidence of remote access from HP.
Gelfand and Clayman each took turns in a redirect interrogation with Fottrell.
Gelfand insisted that the witness’s exhibits were constructed so recently. Defense counsel also questioned the validity of the Fottrell download samples.
The version numbers of the apps he downloaded are different now, compared to May 2019.
“This software literally didn’t exist,” Gelfand said of the new version.
Meanwhile, Fottrell questioned some of Bush’s similar methods.
“I didn’t really get it all,” he said of her using archive.org to try and recreate the state of the Linux app store from an earlier date. “This is not how I did my research.”
Clayman concluded the testimony portion of the trial by asking his computer forensics expert to reiterate several of the points made by the prosecution from the outset:
- The HP user did not need to use command lines to install any of the affected applications at all.
- There was no evidence that the computer was accessible remotely as of May 2019.
- Someone was physically present behind the HP keyboard, downloading files to the computer.
When the testimony was completed, Judge Timothy L. Brooks suspended the day at 4:17 p.m.
He reminded jurors every evening of their responsibilities, then explained that he would provide them with full legal instructions for the trial on December 8. After that, each party will deliver their final submissions.
The jury is expected to receive the case and begin deliberating on December 8.
Before the gallery adjourned, KNWA / FOX24 spoke to Jim Bob Duggar, the accused’s father, asking him what he thought of today’s testimony.
“We just want the truth to come out,” he said. “And we appreciate your prayers for our family.”