Man sentenced for child pornography

LIVINGSTON -- The day after a jury convicted him for possession of child pornography, a 54-year-old Livingston man was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Jeffrey Andrew Bryant was sentenced Thursday morning by 258th District Judge Ernest McClendon, who also took into account Bryant’s two previous felony convictions including an aggravated assault case in Texas and another charge from Alabama.

Bryant was initially taken into custody on Aug. 10, 2016 by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department after his cell phone was found inside a local business. The finder of the lost phone went through it in an attempt to return it to its owner and discovered photos of what appeared to be children engaged in sex acts.

The cell phone was turned over to sheriff’s investigators who obtained a warrant to further examine the cell phone. An arrest warrant was then issued for Bryant who subsequently surrendered to investigators.

During the trial, Bryant’s attorney argued the photos in question were put on the phone after Bryant had lost it but that was rejected by the jury.

After being found guilty, a sentencing hearing before the judge was held the following day. In his testimony at the hearing, Bryant said, “I want to file for a mistrial right now.”

During the hearing, McClendon said the possession of child pornography conviction was Bryant’s second in Texas, adding it is a “very serious” crime. The judge also described the photos found on the cell phone as very violent.

While prosecutors in the case had asked for a life sentence, McClendon opted to give the 54-year-old man a 25-year term in prison, which was the minimum possible in the case.

“It’s hard for the court to minimize the crime,” McClendon said.

McClendon said 25 years was the minimum possible sentence in this case.