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Videos, images shown during child porn trial of fmr. American Idol contestant

Brandon Cox (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo from Cox's trial.)
Brandon Cox (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo from Cox's trial.)
Updated: Jan. 24, 2017 at 7:35 PM CST
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ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - The child pornography trial began on Tuesday for former American Idol contestant, Brandon Cox.

Day one of the trial began with the prosecution and the defense giving opening statements in the case involving the Wetumpka resident.

Assistant Elmore County District Attorney Kristi Peoples explained to the jury what the evidence would show throughout the trial, and warned of the explicit nature of the photos and videos they would use in this case. Peoples went on to say that the evidence would show how Cox used a file share program called Frost Wire to download and share nearly 300 illegal images.

Defense attorney Kenny James cautioned the jury that the state wouldn't be able to prove his client downloaded child pornography to his personal computer.

James also stated the case was investigated in 2011 and his client was indicted in 2015, stating employment records that could help exonerate Cox are no longer available.

The first witness called was Agent Kathy Stewart, a child exploitation investigator for the State Bureau of Investigation.

Stewart testified that she was conducting a random search for child pornography files on Frost Wire when she linked to Cox's account. That's when she verified that he had illegal images of child pornography on two different occasions in 2011.

Stewart filed a subpoena to verify Cox's IP address through the parent company of Brighthouse, evidence which allowed her and a team of investigators to obtain a search warrant for Cox's house.

Stewart was on the witness stand for nearly four hours. During that time, she testified that investigators obtained two hard drives and a thumb drive from Cox's house.

Combined, the devices contained around 200 saved videos and 40 images. Stewart said during the search, Cox arrived at his house.

Stewart and Cox went to her vehicle, where she videoed an interview she conducted with Cox, who was under oath. The video was shown in its entirety to the jury.

It showed Cox stating that he had a Frost Wire account and stated multiple times he was the sole user of his password-protected computer.

The jury was attentive as Stewart read through the file names found on Cox's devices, all too explicit to report. The state also showed some of the images and videos, described by the prosecution as explicit and vulgar.

James went toe-to-toe with Stewart about specifics on when the files were downloaded to his client's computer and the order, attempting to sow seeds of doubt with the jury.

The state indicated it had at least one other witness to call after Stewart, no word on witnesses for the defense, including whether or not Cox will take the stand.

The case will resume on Thursday.

Cox is charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of the intent to distribute child pornography.

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