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Front Royal man to serve time for child porn possession


By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL -- A town man must serve three years for possessing child pornography and register as a sex offender.

David Matthew Weitz, 29, of 25 Shenandoah Commons Way, Front Royal, pleaded guilty in Warren County Circuit Court this week to five counts of possession of child pornography that occurred on May 20, 2013. As part of a plea agreement reached between the prosecutors and his attorney, Weitz received a 20-year prison sentence with all but three years suspended.

Specifically, Judge Dennis Hupp sentenced Weitz on Monday to four years in prison on each of the class 5 felonies and ordered the terms to run consecutively. Hupp suspended one year of one of the terms. Weitz received credit for time served.

In exchange for his pleas, the commonwealth agreed to bring no additional charges against Weitz relative to sexually explicit material in his possession on or before May 20, 2013.

Weitz also must serve five years of supervised probation upon release that comes with several special conditions. Weitz must register with the state police as a sex offender and maintain that registration. He also must complete a sex-offender treatment program and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 without adult supervision. Weitz can't use a computer without supervision by an adult, nor can he have an Internet account in his name.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Layton prosecuted the case. Jerry Talton Jr. represented the defendant. Layton said Friday the state requires people convicted of possessing child pornography to register as sex offenders. Hupp makes this requirement part of the special conditions of the probation.

"The effect of it is that it makes it explicit to the defendant, to the defense attorney, as to what's expected on that," Layton said.

Probation also generally requires people convicted of sex crimes to undergo treatment.

"Reason being it gives them a better idea essentially of what makes the defendant tick so they can attempt to rehabilitate them if they are able," Layton said.

The Front Royal Police Department arrested Weitz after his two adult roommates reported they accidentially saw "numerous nude photographic images of apparent children" on the defendant's laptop on May 14, 2013, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case. Detective K.D. Nicewarmer searched the laptop and found more than five images depicting child pornography, the complaint states. Weitz admitted during an interview to downloading and file-sharing child pornography for the past two years, the complaint states.

In a separate case, Hupp sentenced Mark Anthony McClanahan, 24, of 545 Lewis St., Front Royal, to 15 years in prison for reproducing and possessing child pornography. Specifically, McClanahan received five-year prison terms for one count of reproducing pornography and for each of two counts of possession. The terms run consecutively.

McClanahan pleaded guilty to the charges Monday, the same day a grand jury indicted him on the felonies. Layton prosecuted the case. Defense attorney Nancy Kie represented McClanahan.

In McClanahan's case, authorities arrested him as the result of an investigation into the online sharing of child pornography. A criminal complaint filed in the case states that James Galbreath, an investigator with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office assigned to the Northern Virginia-D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted an investigation Sept. 7, 2012. Galbreath states he identified a potential download candidate for at least 32 files.

Galbreath downloaded three images from the suspect's computer and determined them to be child pornography. The investigator traced the computer's Internet protocol address to a Troy McClanahan. Task force agents executed a search warrant at 404 Pence St., Front Royal, on Oct. 18, 2012. Mark Anthony McClanahan gave a statement that confirmed he was the individual living in the residence and involved in the incidents, the complaint states.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com


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