October 18, 2021

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Beyond law

He swallowed the proof, then as FBI went to arrest him in scenario of illicit visuals of a kid, Caroline County decide killed himself

An Eastern Shore decide, who experienced been on a depart of absence for much more than a month amid an investigation into illicit visuals of youngsters, took his individual daily life Friday morning as federal brokers moved in to arrest him.

Choose Jonathan G. Newell, 50, was pronounced lifeless at 6:43 a.m. from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment declared. A decide due to the fact 2016 and right before that Caroline County’s prime prosecutor for more than a decade, he was to be taken into custody on federal prices of sexual exploitation of a boy or girl, prosecutors mentioned.

A boy that Newell took on a hunting journey on to Hoopers Island identified a concealed digital camera in the bathroom, and his dad and mom reported it to law enforcement, which The Sun documented very last 7 days. When confronted by investigators, Newell is believed to have chewed up and swallowed a camera memory card, authorities stated in a legal grievance unsealed Friday.

A neighbor of Newell posted photographs on Facebook stating the FBI was exterior his dwelling inquiring him to come out more than a loudspeaker. The neighbor, Kimberly Keith, wrote that she heard flash bangs and what she considered to be gunshots, and afterwards an ambulance.

The mom and dad of two boys, including the a person Newell took on the excursion, experienced retained lawyers, who issued a “no contact” ask for to Newell on Aug. 4. The letter cited, “information and perception … that [Newell] engaged in criminal conduct.”

It questioned that he continue to be absent from the boys’ university and associated situations, and warned that any get hold of will consequence in the mom and dad contacting Maryland Point out Police for “potential witness tampering.”

The FBI interviewed quite a few young males, who claimed they experienced been to the looking lodge with Newell and that though in the bathroom, Newell checked their bodies for ticks, in accordance to a felony complaint submitted Thursday in federal court and unsealed Friday pursuing his death.

“At the very least two of the males mentioned they were being bare when Newell checked them for ticks — just one stated that he moved his have genitalia for Newell to glimpse for ticks, and the other in the beginning did not recall if Newell touched his genitalia, but afterwards stated that Newell at the time or twice moved the minor’s genitalia to look for ticks,” FBI Special Agent Rachel Corn wrote in the criminal grievance.

Authorities found a hard push, that they explained contained numerous videos of young gentlemen showering. Newell can be found on the footage environment the camera up, the FBI said. In just one movie clip, he can be seen exploring a youthful man’s naked system for ticks.

When confronted by authorities, Newell denied awareness of a digicam, and requested if he could plug his phone into a charger in another home and make some calls. They noticed him reach down many times, but thought he was holding the mobile phone charger into an outlet. A several times later, the investigator observed Newell’s correct hand shut in a fist and saw him put his fist to his mouth.

“The investigator listened to a loud, distinguishable, ‘crunch,’ audio from the location of Newell’s mouth. Soon after an additional minute or two, the investigator listened to the identical ‘crunch’ once more from Newell’s mouth, adopted by Newell right away reaching for and drinking from a cup found on his dresser,” the FBI wrote in charging paperwork.

They took him to a healthcare facility and obtained a warrant to have a CT scan executed, which exposed a “foreign object” had been ingested. The SD card from the digicam found by the boy was lacking, and the FBI believes Newell chewed it up and swallowed it.

Newell was not billed at the time. Dorchester County State’s Lawyer William H. Jones, whose office environment was one particular of several agencies associated in the circumstance, advised The Sunlight that investigators moved “as speedily as feasible.”

“A great deal of time and exertion and person hrs went into investigating this as speedily as probable with an endeavor to provide it to resolution,” Jones mentioned. “There was a lot of evidence, and that proof takes time to review.”

Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Business, said federal prosecutors would be doing the job with the FBI to facilitate counseling and other expert services for the victims.

Newell, a Republican, has been Caroline County’s only Circuit Courtroom decide, earning $174,433 annually. The county, populace 33,000, also has an appointed household magistrate decide, and civil circumstance examiners.

Judges from other jurisdictions have been filling in to hear Newell’s docket, the judiciary has claimed. He took leave subsequent a police raid on his home July 24, and extended the depart this week to Sept. 23.

Newell started his legislation profession as a community defender in 1999, then turned the deputy state’s legal professional for Kent County. He held equally positions for two years each individual. He was elected state’s lawyer for Caroline County in 2003, a position he held until finally 2016 when Gov. Larry Hogan appointed him to be a choose. He retained that placement in 2018 and was serving a 15-year time period.

Keith, Newell’s neighbor, reported her husband woke her up all-around 6:10 a.m. and observed law enforcement vehicles outside the Newell dwelling. She heard the FBI, in excess of a loudspeaker, declaring, “Jonathan, appear out, put your fingers up.”

She claimed brokers approached the door, and she read a loud bang adopted by two loud bangs a number of minutes afterwards.

“Next detail I understood, they have been in the house,” she claimed.

Keith stated rumors about the ongoing investigation ended up “very properly known around in this article.” Ahead of the investigation, Keith reported she observed Newell’s Facebook posts to be “very odd.”

“All he ever posted on Facebook was about boys,” she reported.

Ahead of his website page was deactivated adhering to the law enforcement raid, Newell’s web site contained a lot of posts about mentoring boys. They included shots from the marketing campaign path, the looking cabin and wrestling matches.

In March 2020, he posted about bumping into a 13-year-outdated neighbor throughout the pandemic.

“Ordinarily to cheer him up I would have teased him, gave him a pat on the shoulder, mussed up his sweaty hair, it’s possible even despatched him on his way with a tiny swat on the butt,” Newell wrote. “I consider boys especially need to have physical get hold of: selecting, poking, plucking — its portion of how they connect with one particular one more and demonstrate affection, even if it occasionally prospects to a battle.”

“Over the very last two many years, I’ve assisted raise a couple dozen youngsters, and their parents have served increase my two boys — hauling sweaty young ones back again from ball fields and bass ponds, patching up skinned knees and pulling ticks out of armpits, refereeing pickup games and cranking out stacks of pancakes. They turned out to be some quite good human beings.”

Newell and his spouse divorced past yr, court docket documents exhibit.

Sunlight reporter Rose Wagner contributed to this short article.