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Woman in child porn case handed 25 years

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Linda Davis tried to withdraw the no contest plea she had entered to kidnapping and child abuse charges involving a 4-year-old female relation on Wednesday – but without success – before her sentencing before state District Judge Stan Whitaker.

Whitaker sentenced her to 25 years in prison for her criminal convictions, which included manufacturing of child pornography.

Davis, 56, was charged along with her then-boyfriend Christopher Gurule, 44, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 21-year term a day earlier.

The long-running case began in September 2007 when the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating the distribution of child pornography and searched Davis’ apartment on University NE. Agents found child pornography there, later discovering that some of the material taken under a search warrant included videos taken by Davis of her relative being molested by Gurule.

A district court judge in Albuquerque ruled the February 2008 search of a camera that discovered a pornographic video and other images were inadmissible because it went beyond the boundaries set out in the search warrant. Prosecutors appealed. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court, but the New Mexico Supreme Court reversed in 2013, thus reinstating the case.

Gurule entered a repeated offender plea agreement to criminal sexual contact of a minor, sexual exploitation of a child, three counts of conspiracy, criminal sexual penetration of a minor and criminal sexual contact of a minor under 13.

He also admitted three prior convictions for drug trafficking.

In consultation with attorneys, Whitaker split up portions of trial dealing with child pornography from those involving the hands-on sexual abuse.

Davis went to trial earlier this year on the pornography charges, and was convicted with Gurule’s testimony against her.

Davis was set to go to trial on the remaining charges when she entered a no contest plea, acknowledging that the state had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

Both Davis and Gurule will be required to register as sex offenders when they are released from prison.

The case was prosecuted by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Crimes Against Children division.

Attorney General Gary King called it “the most egregious example of sexual exploitation of a child during my term in office.”

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