John Bruce Witherell has been found guilty of 33 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. A jury in Charlotte County returned the guilty verdict just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, following a two-day trial.
Assistant State Attorneys Alexa Lipham and Tracy Detzel prosecuted the case.
The crime was discovered on February 12, 2020, when the defendant’s roommate found two cell phones belonging to the defendant, rolled up in a towel in a dresser drawer. The defendant was incarcerated at the time due to a different case.
One phone was not password protected. When the witness turned the phone on, he saw inappropriate images of children.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and began an investigation. It was confirmed that the phones belonged to the defendant. A search warrant was executed for the contents of the phones and numerous images of child pornography were found during the forensic review. The defendant was then arrested for these new charges.
Sentencing has been scheduled for March 15, 2024.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office