PAYNE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has arrested Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington on Child Pornography charges. His bond is now set at $500,000.
“It caught everybody a little flat-footed,” said Gary James, an Oklahoma Defense Attorney and legal expert.
James told News 4 he’s known Etherington for about 20 years. He said those in Oklahoma law were stunned to hear about the arrest of the Payne and Logan County assistant DA.
“He’s always been very fair,” said James. “No one’s ever had a vibe that there’s something wrong with him.”
However, the OSBI said on September 1st, 14 cybertips came in from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit.
On Monday, after investigators executed a search warrant on Etherington’s Stillwater home, Etherington was booked in the Payne County jail, accused of possessing child pornography.
His boss, District Attorney Laura Thomas, said in a statement “I cannot express how dismayed and disappointed I am about this development.” She added, “While the accused stands innocent of the alleged crime until proven guilty, my review of the investigation has resulted in this person’s dismissal from employment by my office.”
Etherington’s legal record and work history are not spotless.
In 2010, he was fired as a prosecutor in the Oklahoma County DA’s Office.
Then, In 2017, he was charged with a felony after being accused of stealing $30 worth of car jacks from his ex-wife’s Edmond home. Those charges were later dropped.
Until his firing this week, Etherington had been assistant district attorney for Payne and Logan counties for about 8 years.
News 4 asked James if the arrest would impact any cases Etherington was currently working on.
“Any pending cases in Payne and Logan County will be reassigned by the district attorney to some other assistant to handle,” said James. “I cannot see any realm of how this will affect any pending case.”
News 4 also asked how this could impact any cases Etherington has tried in the past.
“I can see someone obviously raising it for some type of question but you’d have to look at those on a case by case basis,” said James. “And what would be the allegation? Was he harsher? Or more lenient?”
DA Thomas has asked AG John O’Connor to assign this case to another district.