US court bans phones and laptops from Josh Duggar’s trial

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Duggar has pleaded not guilty to child porn charges

No smartphones or laptops are to be brought into a US court room, a judge has ruled.

Justice Howard Hay ruled that he would not allow any electronics in “case of emergencies” during a test case, according to WNBC.

The judge denied 20-year-old Josh Duggar, son of reality TV star Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, a “last-minute” plea of guilty to child pornography charges on Friday.

He has pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody.

Previous attempts to modify his bail were refused. He cannot be released until his jury trial begins on 28 March.

“You can’t use internet, you can’t use a computer, you can’t carry a cellphone, you can’t carry a laptop, you can’t bring any electronic device into the courtroom,” Judge Hay told Duggar in an interview on the courtroom’s video monitor, as per WNBC.

The judge also said he would be trying him “based on the evidence in court” on each of the charges.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Ms Duggar and her husband have said they were shocked by Josh’s admissions

Duggar pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing pornography of minors and was jailed on 19 January.

His attorney indicated he would be asking the judge to set his client free after a trial which has been scheduled for 28 March.

“We’d like to hear from Mr Duggar,” attorney Scott Marcus said.

“He obviously wants to get out of jail.”

Previously, a judge had said he would jail him for at least 15 months if he was found guilty of the charges.

‘Revocation of video privileges’

Before Friday’s hearing, Duggar’s lawyers had been seeking permission for him to use a laptop and phone.

The judge, however, upheld the wishes of prosecutors that Duggar’s privileges would be “revoked”.

“During the course of the trial, the judge has the authority to strip any rights of Mr Duggar as a defendant as the result of the judge’s finding of guilt,” Marcus said.

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