Halifax County Circuit Court Judge Kimberley S. White overruled a series of motions Friday afternoon in the case of the Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Jerry Wayne Remines.

Remines has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography, 10 counts of second or subsequent possession of child pornography and one count of computer trespassing.

The case began in October of 2019 when an investigation by the South Boston Police Department led them to the material.

On Friday, William Hamilton and Anna Bowen represented the Commonwealth, while Remines’ attorney Matt C. Pinsker argued motions to White that both sides have filed before a trial date is set.

The first motion heard was filed by Remines’ lawyer to suppress the chain of custody by officers on scene during the search at Remines’ residence.

During that search South Boston Police detective Tiffany Bratton secured the phone from Remines. She then gave the phone to Virginia State Police Special Agent Travis Barr. Barr is with the High Tech Crimes division of VSP.

White had previously overruled a motion by the defense to suppress the search warrant. The defense argued that Barr had the phone for over four minutes after Bratton gave him the phone. Barr testified in court on Friday that when Bratton gave him the phone, he immediately put the phone into airplane mode.

Putting a phone into airplane mode was explained by Barr to stop any data from going to or from the phone to include phone calls, text messages etc. Barr was then asked what else he did with the phone after he put it into airplane mode. Barr explained that he then went into the settings of the phone and changed it to stay awake mode.

Barr then testified that he scrolled through the apps in the phone, never opening any. He said that there were over 100 apps divided into multiple sectors, and he was seeing what apps were installed. At this time Barr said he turned the phone over to South Boston Police Investigator Chris Carswell who secured the phone in an evidence bag.

The defense asked Barr if he turned the Wi-Fi of the phone off when he had possession of the phone. Barr said he did not and that he was unsure if it was even on or not. When asked by the defense if a phone still connected to the Wi-Fi and in airplane mode could still receive signal, Barr replied that he did not know if that was possible.

Barr was released from the stand and Patrick Eller, the president and CEO of Metadata Forensics; LLC testified on behalf of the defense saying that a phone connected to Wi-Fi is still able to send and receive data while on airplane mode.

The defense argued that with the Wi-Fi remaining connected after it was confiscated, that the phone cannot remain intact based on this. Bowen with the commonwealth stated that the burden of proof was already met with agent Barr testifying that he did not do anything with the phone to manipulate it in any way.

White overruled the motion based on the two investigations into the phone that stated that nothing was downloaded onto the phone the day that it was taken.

The court found that there was no evidence that anything came in over the Wi-Fi and no evidence in the break in custody of the phone.

The next motion heard was the motion to suppress the search of Remines’ iCloud by investigators.

The original search warrant obtained by Bratton did not include a search of the iCloud. According to the defense’s motion to suppress, Bratton said in her report that she was told by agent Barr that he found in excess of one hundred thousand images and fourteen thousand videos of child pornography on Remines’ phone and in his iCloud. Then after that conversation, Bratton went and obtained a second search warrant for child pornography, as stated in the motion.

Barr was called back to the stand and testified that he did not recall telling Bratton about searching the iCloud. Bratton was then called to the stand where she stated that she did write the report after a phone conversation with Barr. She testified that he did not mention the iCloud in that conversation and that the mention of that in her report was incorrect and that she was mistaken. She had misunderstood what Barr was referencing because she was on the phone while traveling and wrote the report a day or two after the conversation.

White again denied the motion to suppress by the defense.

The defense also filed a motion to get full access to the Virginia State Police manual for the handling of electronic devices and digital evidence. The defense sent a Freedom of Information Act request to VSP to obtain the manual, but was sent a heavily redacted manual. The commonwealth was able to provide the defense one on Friday.

The defense also filed a motion for the statements from the Linwood Lambert case to be provided to them. Lambert died after officers stunned him with a Taser on May 4, 2013 after taking him into custody at the Super 8 Motel on Highway 58 in South Boston, according to a lawsuit filed in U. S. District Court in Danville.

The case was investigated and no charges were filed on any officers involved, including Bratton. The commonwealth agreed to work on providing the defense the documents they requested.

The defense also filed a motion for sanctions to be placed on the commonwealth for not turning over documents to them in the time they were given. The commonwealth explained that they did turn over the documents, and gave the reasons for the delay.

White also overruled that motion.

During the motion hearing Remines’ attorney advised the court that he was waiving his right to a jury trial and was asking for a bench trial.

White and the commonwealth were both caught off guard, as this had not been previously discussed. White asked Remines if this was the route that he wanted to take and he advised that it was.

The court consented to the bench trial, but the commonwealth asked to be given more time to go over things since the information was just given to them that day.

White set the next court date for Nov. 5 to give the commonwealth time to decide if they will agree to waive the jury trial.

Both sides also were told to begin looking at possible trial dates.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him jkirkland@gazettevirginian.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV