It took jurors in Grayson County around 40 minutes to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of Marshal Neil Decker in the 15th state district court Wednesday morning. Decker was accused on possessing child pornography based on a 2012 investigation by both state and federal investigators.


“We are very pleased the jury listened to all the evidence and gave this good kid his life back,” Attorney Bob Jarvis, who represented Decker, said Wednesday following the ruling.


Decker was also represented by Sherman-based attorney Mark Teague.


The case dates back to 2012 when an investigator in Garland with the Internet Crimes against Children task force traced files that have been identified as child pornography back to an IP address at Decker’s home in Denison. A search of Decker’s home in 2013 resulted in the discovery of a laptop computer in his bedroom that was later determined to contain child pornography, Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith said. Jarvis said Decker admitted during questioning that he had seen porn pop up on the computer, but he deleted it.


Decker was indicted on charges of possession of child pornography in 2016, and ultimately faced eight charges when he went to trial earlier this week. A ninth charge of possession was not pursued and taken before the jury, Smith said.


While the IP address was under Decker’s name, and the computer belonged to him, Jarvis said he believes the prosecution was unable to directly tie Decker to the crime enough to convince jurors. Jarvis said Decker had two roommates and a third person was staying on the couch at the time the incident occurred.


It is this third individual Jarvis said could have been the one to access the material. Jarvis noted the third person also had previously pleaded true to molestation of a child as a juvenile.


“We are not saying they did it, but Marshal was not the only one in the house,” Jarvis said, adding that the two roommates were never accused.


Other factors Jarvis said likely contributed the the verdict included the fact that federal prosecutors declined to prosecute the case early on.


With regard to the long time between the initial investigation and trial, Smith said there were some delays in getting the examination of the laptop done. Smith said he learned about the case about six months ago and decided to prosecute it himself.


“The case had sat on the docket and it didn’t get any younger, so to say,” Smith said.


Smith said his office has no plans for further prosecution in the case.


“I think the jury felt we couldn’t place the defendant on the computer at that time,” he said.


Jarvis acknowledged the case has been ongoing for several years but did not cast blame on any individual for the situation. Instead, he attributed it to several factors, including the investigation that prolonged the process.


“We didn’t — and Brett didn’t — argue that this was anyone’s fault,” he said.