Change of venue sought in former teacher’s bathroom video case

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An attorney rpresenting a former teacher facing criminal charges for allegedly filming boys in restrooms wants a Bowie County judge to move the trial to another jurisdiction.

Shane Samuel Jones, 31, was arrested in November after allegedly being caught filming an 11-year-old boy in a bathroom at J.C. Penney in Texarkana, Texas. Jones’ defense attorney, Danny Cook of Texarkana, filed a motion recently asking that Jones’ charge of invasive visual recording pending in Bowie County be moved because of publicity.

Earlier this year, Jones pleaded guilty to the offense at a hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell as part of a plea arranged with the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office which included a term of probation. Tidwell refused to approve the deal and Jones was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

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Cook’s motion filed on Jones’ behalf states that Jones can’t get a fair trial in Bowie County. Included with the motion are copies of approximately 20 news articles and a copy of a post made by law enforcement on social media following Jones’ arrest.

Cook describes the news coverage as “a firestorm of excessive news coverage” which are “extremely pervasive and inflammatory.”

Jones is facing six months to two years in a Texas state jail if convicted of invasive visual recording in Bowie County. His next hearing is scheduled in July before Tidwell.

Jones is also charged with voyeurism and video voyeurism in Miller County, Ark., for allegedly filming boys in bathrooms at Trinity Christan School in Texarkana, Ark. Jones was fired from his teaching job at the school when the allegations surfaced.

Both of the offenses pending against Jones in Miller County are punishable by up to six years in prison. Cook, who represents Jones in Miller County as well as Bowie County, has not filed a motion to change venue in the Miller County case.

Jones is scheduled to appear before a Miller County circuit judge for a pretrial hearing in July.

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