Commonwealth Journal

Local News

September 5, 2013

Whitson asks for leniency in porn case

(Continued)

Somerset —

Whitson has remained in custody since his arrest.  
Murphy, in his memorandum filed on Tuesday, pointed to a June 7 memorandum filed by Whitson’s former attorney, Jerry Cox, which included letters in support of Whitson from several members of the Somerset community, including the victim and his father. 
“The victim ... and his father expressed that they thought a sentence requiring incarceration was unnecessary and counterproductive,” states Murphy. “Both suggested that counseling would be a more appropriate remedy given (Whitson’s) background and the nature of the offense ... In fact, the victim’s father also indicated he thought imprisonment would provide no benefit to society and would be unfair given the circumstances.”
As part of the deal, the U.S. will move to recommend 180 months in prison, or about 15 years for Whitson, during his sentencing. The 15-year sentence is a statutory minimum requirement for a conviction of production of child porn. 
Murphy writes in the memorandum that Whitson, who worked with the City of Somerset Parks and Recreation Department for more than 10 years before his arrest, has in the past volunteered “ ... to perform accounting work for Somerset High School, conducted public relations for Lake Cumberland youth football, organized community theater productions, and volunteered to assist with Somerset High School football broadcasts.”
Murphy is asking that Reeves hand down a sentence of no more than the required 180-month prison term. 
“(Whitson) wants nothing more than an opportunity to demonstrate to the Court that he is a productive member of society, and he assures the Court that he will do whatever possible to do so after he is released from custody,” Murphy states. 
Reeves has set Whitson’s sentencing hearing for Sept. 6.  

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