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Thu, July 18

Judge hears argument to suppress illegal videotapes <BR>

A Mohave County Superior Court judge postponed for two weeks a motion to suppress evidence filed by the attorney of a Kingman man accused of illegally videotaping children.

Public Defender Frank Dickey, taking over for Michael Grondin, the attorney for David Owens, continued the defense argument before Judge Richard Weiss on Thursday during a hearing continued from last week.

The motion was to suppress videotapes, Web site images and pornographic photos police found at Owens' residence during a search.

Dickey argued that a phone request by Kingman police to Justice of the Peace John Taylor for a second search warrant of Owens' home was invalid.

He stated there was no second written document, which would have expanded the search.

The first search warrant was for burglarized items.

The oral request for the second search came after KPD detectives found pornographic materials in Owens' room.

Officer Tony Ruppel testified that he returned to KPD and called Taylor after finding a photo of a girl in a towel and Internet addresses found next to Owens' computer.

"You couldn't tell to this day if this is a pornographic Web site?" Dickey asked.

"That's correct," Ruppel said.

But Ruppel also testified he knew the girl and her family and knew she or her family would not have known Owens and guessed that the photos may have been stolen.

Dickey's argument is that nobody checked the Web sites to see whether they actually were Web sites, which meant there was no probable cause for seizing the computers or videotapes.

Weiss asked Dickey how someone could search a Web site without a search warrant before getting the search warrant.

Chief Deputy Mohave County Jace Zack countered that there was ample probable cause to believe there were pornographic materials because of the Web addresses on the address list.

Zack also defended KPD Detective Ramona Tepfer, who testified last week about expanding the search.

Weiss set another hearing for the case and asked both attorneys for additional research into whether police would need a new search warrant to search for items involving another crime or whether they could expand the search on the original search warrant.

Owens is charged with 10 counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property; six counts of theft, one count of molestation of a child and 12 counts of unlawful videotaping.

Owens is also charged with 19 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

That incident allegedly occurred Nov.

5 at a Kingman residence and involved Owens allegedly possessing 19 computer images downloaded off the Internet that sexually exploit minors younger than 15.

Between June 1 and Nov.

5, Owens allegedly videotaped seven different juvenile girls and an adult female in the Kingman area.

Some of the girls were allegedly videotaped on several occasions.

Owens also allegedly molested one of the girls he videotaped.

The theft charges, which occurred between July 31 and Nov.

5, involve more than $40,000 in property.

Owens allegedly attempted to sell jewelry to a Kingman pawnshop in October.

Kingman police detectives began investigating Nevada burglaries of jewelry sold to the Kingman pawnshop.

The Boulder City burglaries were similar to burglaries committed in Kingman.

KPD detectives identified Owens, 37, as the suspect and searched his home, and found videotapes of young girls sleeping in their rooms.

Owens allegedly videotaped some of the children through their bedroom windows.

Owens is being held without bond.


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