Police & Courts

Hannibal man sentenced to 15 years in prison on child porn convictions

Lee Gatlin
Posted: Apr. 16, 2018 3:45 pm Updated: Apr. 16, 2018 3:52 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Lee Gatlin of Hannibal was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for possession of child pornography by Circuit Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd.

Gatlin, 24, was arrested in June, months after his lost cellphone led to an investigation involving child pornography.

Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton charged Gatlin with two counts of possession of child pornography, both Class B felonies, with sentencing ranges from five to 15 years on each count. Gatlin pleaded guilty in December.

"The defendant requested a lesser sentence," Clayton said in a news release. "I asked the judge to send the message that this type of behavior won't be tolerated. This is an appropriate sentence due to the vile nature of the crime."

Testimony indicates that in September 2015, a woman found a cellphone on the side of the road at U.S. 61 and Bellevue Street in Hannibal. While trying to find the cellphone's owner, she looked at photographs on the phone and discovered child pornography, a probable cause statement said.

Hannibal police Detective Brian Allen determined the owner of the phone, was granted a search warrant, and sent the phone as evidence to the Cybercrime Task Force in St. Charles.

The phone was returned to Allen, and its videos and photographs were copied to a disk. When he analyzed the disk, Allen found what he believed to be child pornography, according to the probable cause statement.

Gatlin was arrested June 12. He has been held since his arrest in the Marion County Jail on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.

Sign up for Email Alerts

Things to Do