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Duggar defense responds, states that ‘The law requires a new trial’ or acquittal

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On February 28, Joshua Duggar’s defense team filed a 27-page document with the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville, once again requesting an acquittal or a new trial.

The filing, a response to a previous government motion, stated that the defendant was “deprived of significant constitutional rights,” and because of this, “the law requires a new trial.” The filing also accused the prosecution of being silent on “the real issues.”

On the first page, the defense requested that the court enter a judgment of acquittal on both counts. Their reasoning stated that the government failed to present sufficient evidence at trial to support the convictions. The motion also stated that “there was no evidence [Duggar] ‘personally’ viewed child sexual abuse material,” a claim they have made before.

The filing subsequently requested a new trial if the motion for acquittal is denied. It asserted that the prosecution “deliberately played games” in how it disclosed certain emails to the defense during the trial. The motion delved deep into the timeline of those particular emails, explaining their belief that the government deliberately delayed relaying material regarding someone “who should have been meaningfully investigated.”

The defense reminded the court that inadequate investigation performed by law enforcement and the government was “a central theme of Duggar’s defense.”

The response once again addressed the fact that Duggar was prevented from calling “a necessary witness,” Caleb Williams.

Duggar sought to call Williams as a witness because he had the opportunity, the know-how, and the motive to commit the charged offenses—and, depending on his responses to questions posed at trial, Williams’ credibility was readily impeachable. In short, Duggar sought to introduce evidence that Williams may have lied—or been mistaken—about his whereabouts at certain times.

Joshua Duggar defense team filing, February 28, 2022

The filing continued by citing a clause within the Sixth Amendment regarding the right to present criminal defense evidence to a jury. It also addressed specific testimony given by computer forensic experts called as witnesses by both sides. The defense took issue with the prosecution’s witness testifying as an expert regarding computer geolocation data, stating that the government did not provide notice that he would do so.

The filing concluded by noting that all parties have agreed that the court will dismiss count two before sentencing. This was announced on the day of Duggar’s conviction in December 2021, with the court noting that it was a “lesser included offense.”

This filing specifically asks that the lesser offense be dismissed before sentencing, and only if all of their current requests are denied. The motion was signed by defense attorneys Justin Gelfand and Travis Story.

Duggar, 33, was found guilty on two child pornography charges and he is being held in Washington County Detention Center as he awaits sentencing on April 5.

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