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Texas man sentenced after being caught on video smashing computer in child porn case

A Weatherford man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was caught on video smashing a computer with a hammer in an attempt to stop authorities from seizing it because it may have had child pornography, the Parker County district attorney said Friday.

Weatherford police later seized his cell phone which contained a child porn video

Judge Graham Quisenberry sentenced Joe Eddie Stephens, 71, on Wednesday to 12 years for promotion of child pornography and 10 years for tampering with evidence. The sentences will be served concurrently.

A Parker County jury needed only 15 minutes to convict Stephens on the charges.

The case began in May 2019 when Stephens’ son came come and found out his father had picked up two young girls from an elementary school under the guise that they were going to with with his granddaughter.

The son became concerned when he released the granddaughter was not there and Stephens was taking pictures of the two girls posing provfocatively in their swimsuits.

Stephens’ son checked the browser history on Stephens’ computer which led him to believe his father was accessing child porn on the computer.

“When Mr. Stephens was confronted by family members, he blamed ‘other people’ that he said must have accessed his computer,” said Parker County District Attorney Jeff Swain in a Thursday news release “When the family didn’t buy that, he said he was lonely and then threatened to commit suicide, which is what led to Weatherford PD being called.”

Before Weatherford police arrived, Stephens became enraged, pulled the computer out the wall and threw the computer against a brick fireplace before taking it out to the garage.

Once in the garage, Stephens grabbed a claw hammer and smashed the computer 24 times, Swain said.

Swain said the computer was destroyed, and authorities could not salvage any videos.

His wife recorded the incident.

On the video, Stephens’ wife can be heard telling him to stop and that he is only making things worse for himself.

He responds by saying, “They got this as evidence,” and “Nobody has the right to look at someone’s camera.”

But his wife responded, “Did you have the right to look at somebody’s child?”


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