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Ex-DPW Super Commits Suicide Rather Than Face Child Porn Plea

4-30-2013 New Jersey:

Morristown man died night before he was due to appear in Superior Court in Morristown.

Former Morristown Public Works Superintendent Charles E. Jones III, who was indicted in February on charges of distributing child porn over the Internet, took his own life last week, the Daily Record reported.

Defense attorney Clifford Weininger, told the paper that "the stress, the embarrassment and the disgrace caused him to do this." Weininger said he knew Jones for at least 15 years as a man who was hard-working single father who raised a daughter on his own and put her through college.

Weininger told the Daily Record that the state was offering a plea bargain of about five years in prison, and Jones was preparing to accept the offer, though Weininger anticipated arguing for no more than three years behind bars. Jones was due in court on April 24 for a status conference, but hanged himself at his home the night before, Weininger told the paper.

Jones, 51 and a Morristown resident, took a leave of absence after he was arrested in April and remained on leave until he resigned July 17, Town Administrator Michael Rogers said. Jones worked for the town for 11 years.

Jones was indicted on charges of second-degree distribution of child pornography, second-degree offering child pornography, and fourth-degree possession of child pornography. Jones was among 27 defendants arrested last year as a result of “Operation Watchdog," which targeted the distribution of child pornography using file sharing software.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. ..Source.. by Kim Tran

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