Judge grants continuance for Oregon man charged with possessing child sexual abuse images

Kris D. Stubblefield in October 2023

OREGON – The defense attorney for an Oregon man charged with possessing images of child sexual abuse asked for and received another continuance to discuss potential outcomes for his client.

Ogle County Public Defender Michael O’Brien requested the continuance for Kris D. Stubblefield, 33, as they appeared before Judge John “Ben” Roe for a status hearing Thursday.

Stubblefield was arrested Oct. 21 by Ogle County sheriff’s deputies after a monthslong investigation and search of his home, prompted by a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Charging documents say all the children were younger than 13 and some as young as 3, with the offenses occurring in August and October 2023.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty to all eight charges.

O’Brien said he needed more time to discuss potential outcomes with Stubblefield after a 402 conference with Roe on April 11. A 402 conference is intended to be an open process where attorneys and a judge discuss relevant information regarding the case and a potential outcome. Defendants are not present during the conference, but must agree to waive their presence before it is held.

Roe set Stubblefield’s next hearing for 2:30 p.m. May 9. Assistant State’s Attorney Heather Kruse did not object to the continuance.

In December, Roe ordered an evaluation of Stubblefield and denied his request to be released from jail to serve as a caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Stubblefield has been held in the Ogle County Correctional Center since his arrest, but has requested numerous times to be released from custody as his case proceeds.

In previous hearings, O’Brien said Stubblefield’s incarceration continues to be a hardship on his family since he would be providing care to his grandfather if he were released. He has citied Stubblefield’s cooperation with law enforcement, adding that he did not try to elude law enforcement and has no history of violence.

Kruse again renewed the state’s argument to keep Stubblefield in custody, citing reports from the Illinois attorney general and the sheriff’s office that he is a registered juvenile sex offender and was in possession of more than 1,500 images of child sexual abuse on his phone, she said.

In previous denials of Stubblefield’s request for release, Roe said “criminal acts involving the internet” would be difficult to restrict or monitor if Stubblefield were to be released. He denied Stubblefield’s release again on Thursday.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.