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Child porn convict to face more charges

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Cabell County's prosecutor says investigators discovered potentially thousands more images of child pornography in the home of a Barboursville man already convicted and awaiting punishment for images he possessed nearly three years ago.

Dustin Cole Hill, who appeared in court Tuesday for sentencing in the 2011 case, instead learned his bond would be revoked and sentencing delayed while West Virginia State Police proceed in the new investigation.

The 29-year-old apologized before Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson, as the prosecutor told the court Tuesday he had little choice but to move for bond revocation. Hill had pleaded guilty last summer to 15 counts of possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles said the recent search by state troopers found "hundreds if not thousands" of additional images that may constitute child pornography. He added Hill made admissions to troopers when he was detained.

State Police Trooper W.G. Hash declined comment on the case Tuesday other than to say it remains under investigation. He said troopers chose not to make an immediate arrest until their investigation was complete.

Ferguson revoked Hill's bond, ordered him to jail and rescheduled sentencing on the existing case until March 11. Chiles said troopers anticipate filing new charges in relation to police's most recent search.

Hill, initially arrested in May 2011, served several days in jail before being released to home confinement. He remained under that supervision until November 2012, when he was released on bond alone, according to court records.

Defense attorney Ray Nolan learned of the new allegations Monday night. He initially sought home confinement for his client Tuesday, but asked that Hill be placed in protective custody when that request was denied. Ferguson granted protective custody.

Nolan declined further comment afterwards, saying his side had nothing to respond to until new charges are filed.

Hill, in answering questions from the judge, said authorities seized unspecified equipment from his home as they executed the search warrant.

Hill's initial indictment, filed in June 2012, charged the defendant with 38 counts of possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He admitted to 15 counts in exchange for dismissal of the other counts.

The indictment stemmed from an arrest at the Walmart in Barboursville. Troopers at the time filed a criminal complaint crediting a store manager with recognizing Hill as the person who developed pornographic photographs April 6, 2011.

Hill, who admitted to owning the photos, had visited the store to develop additional photographs. The pictures were of 17-year-old girls, according to the May 2011 criminal complaint.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.

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