North Hampton man reaches plea deal in child porn case
BRENTWOOD — A North Hampton man facing charges of possessing child pornography expects that a plea deal he has struck with federal prosecutors may lead to state charges being dropped against him, according to his lawyer. A Rockingham Superior Court judge agreed to put off a hearing on Tuesday for Matthew Morvillo, 55, of 18 Fern Drive, until after he pleads guilty to child pornography charges in federal court. Morvillo faces charges in state and federal court in connection with child pornography that was discovered when North Hampton police raided his home July 12, 2013, according to court records.
Defense lawyer Kyle Griffin told a judge that his client has had “meaningful discussions” with federal prosecutors that might resolve both cases.
Morvillo intends to waive indictment and plead guilty to a single count of possession of child pornography in federal court, admitting that he had at least one compact disc that had an image of a child, court documents say.
The search of Morvillo’s home last July found a collection of compact discs next to a home computer, prosecutors said. The discs were manufactured outside New Hampshire and “contained primarily images and videos of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct,” prosecutors said.
County prosecutors indicted Morvillo on a single count of possession of child sexual abuse images, alleging that last Feb. 21 he had an image of a boy exposing himself on a bed. Morvillo faces up to 7½ to 15 years in prison if the state goes forward in that case.
Federal prosecutors could argue for up to a 10-year prison term, but acknowledged that a lesser sentence would be recommended in light of the guilty plea. County prosecutors will likely have to advise Judge Marguerite Wageling whether they will go forward with the state case or drop the charges.
Lawyers are expected to update Wageling on the status of Morvillo’s case on June 2.