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Federal trial set to start for former Pace firefighter on child porn charges

Federal trial set to start for former Pace firefighter on child porn charges

The federal trial of a former Pace firefighter is set to begin. Danny Murphy is facing child pornography charges.

Fourteen jurors were seated on Monday in Murphy's child pornography trial. The jury will hear opening arguments on Tuesday.

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said a federal case like this one carries with it steeper penalties.

Murphy allegedly took part in sharing child pornography images and videos through an instant messaging phone app called Kik.

His indictment states he operated under the screen name "Mr. Duckblue" to recieve and view child porn between November 2016 and January 2017.

Murphy is facing federal charges while two other defendants, Charles McConnell and Jonah Authement, will be tried by a state court.

"Often a decision will be made of which is more appropriate court to handle those cases," Marcille said.

Marcille can't talk about specifics because the trial is ongoing and two other cases are pending. However, he said several things were considered in deciding which court would try Murphy.

"Sexual offenses dealing with the internet, dealing with crimes involving children and the use of the internet again can go both in the state court or federal system," Marcille said.

Prosecutors look at the nature of the crime and what punishment is available. They also look into the types of agencies involved in the investigation.

Marcille said, "In this particular case there were several individuals that were charged in state court for state charges. As an off shoot of that investigation there was an additional suspect that was developed. That investigation was primarily handled by the Department of Homeland Security as well as other federal agency."

Murphy's trial is set to start at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and is expected to last a couple days.

McConnell and Authement are also facing child pornography charges. Their trials are expected to start later this year.

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