A former Bourbon County business owner pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of possessing child porn.
According to the Herald-Leader, Joe Watkins, Senior, entered the plea on a condition that he can withdraw it if an appellate court reverses a decision by a circuit judge.
Watkins’ lawyer said a judge should have suppressed evidence that Paris police obtained in the case.
Police charged Joe Watkins with child pornography in October 2010 after searching his things and seizing a computer. In July of that year, officials spent several hours searching a vacant building that allegedly belonged to Watkins, and witnesses say officials removed around 75 boxes from the building on Sixth and Main Street.
When asked what was inside those boxes, officials said he couldn’t comment because it was an ongoing inspection and investigation. Watkins responded with obscenities when asked to comment.
Watkins is the former owner of the Chicken Ranch Restaurant and a flower shop in Paris.
In October 2008, police arrested Watkins for a Halloween prank he pulled on co-workers. One of his employees found Watkins lying in a pool of blood with a knife nearby and called 911, sending paramedics and police racing to the scene. When crews arrived, Watkins told everyone it was all a joke. Police charged Watkins with falsely reporting an incident.
Watkins is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 9.