FLORENCE — A registered sex offender from Wisconsin, living in Florence, has been indicted on possession of child pornography.
Richard Darel Murray, 45, who was living in the 500 block of West Cleveland Avenue, Florence, has been indicted for 100 counts of possession of child pornography, failing to register as a sex offender and living in a prohibited residence within 2,000 feet of a school or child care facility.
The indictments were issued during the recently concluded January session of the Lauderdale County grand jury.
Authorities said 100 photos of nude children were discovered during a preliminary investigation of two computers and an external hard drive found at his residence.
Murray was arrested in July after it was determined he was living in north Florence and had not registered with local authorities.
Florence police detective Keith Johnson said Murray had been living in Florence since May. He said people who Murray had been living with at the time of his arrest reported finding “something that seems suspicious” to them on Murray’s computers.
“We obtained a search warrant and had the computers and the hard drive examined, and the investigator found the photos of the nude children,” Johnson said at the time of the arrest.
Investigators believe most of the children in the photos are 10 to 12 years old. Police said it is not believed any of the photos are of local children.
Johnson said it appears all photos were downloaded from the Internet.
Authorities said they have not determined whether Murray was transmitting the photos to other people.
Murray was arrested after police were notified by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections that he had left the state and was living in Florence. Reports from Wisconsin indicate Murray was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse of a child in August 1994.
Possession of child pornography is a Class C felony punishable by 1-10 years if convicted.
Murray is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $515,000. A date for his arraignment has not been set. Court officials said the case could be placed on the circuit court docket for later this year.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.