Man suspected of child pornography kills himself in Thomas County -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man suspected of child pornography kills himself in Thomas County

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

January 12, 2008

COOLIDGE, GA (WALB) - A bizarre story in Thomas County where a man, who repeatedly called and cursed Thomas County Deputies, killed himself when they showed up at his house.

Martin Stevenson was arrested two weeks ago for harassing deputies, and that's when they found some disturbing evidence at his house of another crime.

When they returned to his house Sunday, he ran into the backyard and shot himself.

47-year-old Martin Stevenson lived and ran his Dog Kennel business at 19031 Hwy 319N in Thomas County.

Two weeks ago he was arrested for making harassing phone calls to the Sheriff's department. Investigators say he would call the office sometimes fifteen times a day using obscene language.

"He would get intoxicated at times and call the Sheriff's office or call the dispatch center repeatedly," said Investigator Tim Watkins with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators took Stevenson into custody on December 28th while they were at his home a disturbing image that caught their eyes...that image possible Child pornography.

"While securing his residence one of the deputies noticed a computer that had a image of what looked to be an underage child on it," said Watkins.

Last Monday deputies searched the property and took three computers to find out if Stevenson had anything to hide.

"When we asked Mr. Stevenson if they were going to be any images on there that were inappropriate, at that time he said no. Later that day he called and said there would be some on there," said Watkins.

Almost a week after investigators seized some of his property Stevenson began harassing sheriff's dispatchers again. Deputies went to arrest him.

"The deputies arrived and he was in the process of showing dogs to the customers," said Watkins.

But this time he had a different response when investigators came knocking at his door.

Deputies say they had not even made contact with Stevenson. But when he saw the investigators he ran to the back of the house, and shot himself.

"I think he was concerned about what may be found on those computers," said Watkins.

Those hard drives are now the subject of special forensic investigators. For now, they have seen only the one image, but they believe they may find a lot more on the hard drives. Images that may have led Stevenson to kill himself instead of facing possible criminal charges and the embarassment of public ridicule.  Feedback

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