Retired Trooper Sentenced To 56 Years

Posted: June 1, 2012 at 5:37 a.m.

BENTONVILLE — Joseph Hutchens, a retired Arkansas state trooper, stood in a courtroom Thursday and apologized for bringing disgrace to the uniform he wore for more than 25 years.

Hutchens, 66, pleaded no contest to 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was charged as a habitual offender and received 56 years in prison.

Stuart Cearley, chief deputy prosecutor, agreed to dismiss another 10 counts under a plea agreement reached with Shane Wilkinson, Hutchens’ attorney.

Hutchens retired from State Police and was working as a bailiff when he was arrested on child pornography-related charges.

At A Glance

Joseph Hutchens

Joseph Truman Hutchens had worked as a bailiff for now-retired Benton County Circuit Judge David Clinger for almost a year when he was arrested in 2005 on child porn charges. He was a state trooper for 26 years.

Source: Staff Report

He pleaded guilty in January 2007 to eight counts of possessing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was sentenced to five years in prison on each count. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

A forensic examination of the hard drive of Hutchens’ computer revealed at least 37 images of suspected child porn, according to court documents.

Hutchens was arrested March 25, 2010, in connection with violating parole and a suspended-sentence agreement. His parole officer discovered Hutchens was in possession of child pornography during a visit to Hutchens’ home, according to Cearley.

Hutchens, dressed in black-and-white-striped jail clothing Thursday, did not dispute Cearley’s description of the crime.

Hutchens told Circuit Judge John Scott he wasn’t coerced into entering the plea and he understood he was giving up his right to a jury trial.

Scott wanted to know whether Hutchens was satisfied with Wilkinson’s representation.

“Were you familiar with Mr. Wilkinson?” Scott asked Hutchens.

Hutchens told Scott that Wilkinson was his first choice among numerous defense attorneys he was familiar with.

Wilkinson was the deputy prosecutor assigned to the first case when Hutchens pleaded guilty in 2007.

Hutchens told Scott he used the knowledge he gained in his law enforcement career when deciding whether to enter the plea to resolve the case.

Scott accepted the plea agreement and Hutchens’ guilty plea.

Hutchens was sentenced to 20 years each on two counts and 16 years on a third count. The sentences will be served consecutively — a total of 56 years. He received a 10-year suspended sentence for the remaining counts.

He was sentenced to 24 years in connection with the suspended sentence in the 2007 plea. The sentence will run concurrently with the other sentence.

Hutchens was given credit for 650 days he spent in custody while awaiting trial. He must serve one-sixth of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Hutchens apologized for his actions and told Scott he was remorseful about his conduct.

“I’ve destroyed my life,” Hutchens said. “I’ve destroyed my family. I’ve destroyed my career.”

Hutchens also apologized for disgracing the State Police.

“I am extremely remorseful,” Hutchens said.

Hutchens can’t have unsupervised contact with minors, and he must register as a sex offender and comply with all terms of a registered sex offender.

“Joe Hutchens had a distinguished and decorated career with the Arkansas State Police,” Wilkinson said after the plea. “He protected and served this community well for nearly 30 years. His mistakes since that time, no matter how egregious, do not erase all of the good he has done in his life.”

"Joe Hutchens had a distinguished and decorated career with the Arkansas State Police,” Wilkinson said after the plea. “He protected and served this community well for nearly 30 years. His mistakes since that time, no matter how egregious, do not erase all of the good he has done in his life.”

How do we know he wasn't involved in kiddie porn in those 30 years he was protecting and serving? I don't think a person suddenly develops this 'habit' for all we know he has been doing this all along and just finally got caught.

Posted by: suek

June 1, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Suek
Hutchens may have been involved in kiddie porn while he was a Trooper, but he still went out there everyday for many years and did a job that most of you would not do. He put his life on the line everyday. That I will give him credit for, but don't get me wrong. I have no use for anyone who is involved in kiddie porn, or any other type of perverted pictures involving childred. I think that his sentence was not hard enough. I think these perverts ought to be put away and never let out. He should have never been released when he got caught the second time. Our children need to be protected from perverts like this and the people who distribute this type of garbage

Posted by: vtech

June 1, 2012 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Making bootleg whiskey is a crime. Bootleggers are jailed and put out of business. Why is not making pornography a crime just as important? Could it be that bootlegging cheats the state out of taxes and making pornography does not? Go after the producers of this exploitation. Give them life without parole when caught. Life in prison should make it not worth the effort.

Posted by: kinggeorge

June 1, 2012 at 1:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

If this guy has been looking at this kind of stuff for all these years it's my bet he has molested some kids. I would be hard not to believe he only looks and does not touch. They need to interview any children he has been around I have a bad felling about this.

Posted by: rummy

June 1, 2012 at 5:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>Bootleggers are jailed and put out of business.

they're charged because of manufacturing liquor without a license.
.
Porn is protected by the right to free speech.
Several court cases on it over the years. Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame fought battles in court. Publisher Ralph Ginzburg was prosecuted by Robert Kennedy in 1962 for publishing the magazine Eros.
Learn something at this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Gi...

There's limited privileges to make intoxicants and sell them. It isn't a right. Because manufacturing liquor is not a right it's governed by various state laws.

In Arkansas you can make 200 gals of wine per year but you cannot transport it or have others transport it, meaning it's for home consumption.
Otherwise you get a license and open a distillery, winery or brewery.

It's likely Trooper Hutchens needed a shrink long before he was charged with child porn.

.

Posted by: cdawg

June 1, 2012 at 7 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

cdawg
Are you saying child porn is protected under the right of free speech. If that is so why was he sentenced to 56 years. I don't understand you logic.

Posted by: rummy

June 2, 2012 at 7:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )