fbpx

Maryland Judge Eats Evidence, Kills Self In Child Porn Case

A 50-year-old Maryland circuit court judge committed suicide Friday morning as FBI agents attempted to arrest him for allegedly secretly recording video of teenage boys showering at his fishing cabin.

(Screen capture via maryland.gov)

Jonathan Gray Newell, 50, had served as a judge in Caroline County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2016. He had been on leave from the position since July when he was first questioned by law enforcement, according to criminal records unsealed this week. Maryland State Police investigators in July had responded to a call about a minor who discovered a video camera hidden in the bathroom of Newell’s cabin in the town of Fishing Creek, Md.

Two minor boys, thought to be 15 years of age, had spent the night of July 22 at Newell’s cabin. The judge reportedly routinely hosted minor boys and other adult males at his cabin for fishing excursions.

One of the boys told police that after undressing in the bathroom he found a camera that was on and facing the shower inside a small black crate on a shelf in the corner of the bathroom. After telling the other boy about the camera he had discovered, the two boys both called their parents to tell them about the camera in the bathroom, the documents state. Their parents contacted law enforcement, which immediately confronted the judge at his cabin.

During their questioning Newell was allowed to go to his bedroom to ostensibly charge his mobile phone. But instead he is alleged to have ingested an SD memory card he had furtively removed from the camera.

“The investigator heard a loud, distinguishable, ‘crunch,’ sound from the area of Newell’s mouth,” an FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint. “After another minute or two, the investigator heard the same ‘crunch’ again from Newell’s mouth, followed by Newell immediately reaching for and drinking from a cup located on his dresser.”

The next day investigators obtained a search warrant for CT scans of Newell’s abdomen and pelvis. Images obtained from those scans revealed an “18 mm linear possibly metallic foreign body within the small bowel.”

When investigators searched his cabin, home, truck, boat and office they reportedly seized “numerous digital devices” – including a Toshiba external hard drive inside a safe in a den in the Henderson home, according to court records. That device “revealed numerous videos of minor males showering,” the FBI wrote.

Investigators report that they spoke with nine teenagers who had been to Newell’s cabin, home or both. Some had known Newell since elementary school. The boys said they showered in Newell’s bathrooms and that he regularly came in to check their bodies for ticks.

Friday morning FBI agents surrounded Newell’s house in Henderson, Md., and ordered the judge to come outside. Agents and neighbors then reported hearing a gunshot. “When they entered the residence agents found Newell suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland. “He was pronounced dead at 6:43 a.m.”



Follow Us On: Facebook and Twitter