Jury in Apodaca Kidnapping Trial Hears Suspect Used Cell to Search Porn Sites

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By Mihajla Milovanovic

VENTURA, CA— The jury trial for James Lewis Apodaca proceeded here in Ventura County Superior Court Wednesday when the prosecution called a series of witnesses and investigators to explain the gathered evidence—including alleged porn site searches by the accused—in a kidnapping incident on Aug. 21, 2021.

The prosecution called James Douglas who was working as a detective with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. He first testified where he was requested to analyze surveillance footage which was at the Remy Martin liquor store.

Investigator Douglas explained that his responsibility was to book an evidentiary copy that was to be used for the investigation. Following this explanation, Douglas was cross-examined by PD George Zaehringer confirming the time he received surveillance footage on Aug. 29, 2021.

Then Jamal Clark, who during the time of the incident was a deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, took the stand and testified that he was in charge of the search of the vehicle driven by Apodaca.

Deputy District Attorney Rafael Orellana presented a cell phone into evidence and the investigator stated the cell phone was found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He also testified that there was another phone found in the passenger seat which was also marked as evidence.

DDA Orellana then presented a new piece of evidence, a bag of what seemed to be narcotics and which the investigator confirmed was methamphetamine. Investigator Clark stated that the bag weighed about 3.7 grams.

The next witness was Daniel McLaughlin, who was also an investigator and previous deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Investigator McLaughlin specified that with this case he worked with the cell phones that were presented in the evidence.

The investigator explained the process of going through the cell phones that were found and how the information found from the cell phones are unable to be altered throughout the investigation.

First, Douglas began with the Samsung phone belonging to the victim that was analyzed. He testified that the victim’s phone included selfies of her and people associated with her, describing a woman with blonde hair.

DDA Orellana then displayed evidence of the phone that was found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Investigator McLaughlin confirmed that, according to the account, the cell phone belonged to Apodaca, whom he identified in the courtroom.

Investigator McLaughlin then described that he examined all of the search history including timestamps on the phone belonging to Apodaca. DDA Orellana asked him about the chrome browser that was analyzed and the investigator testified that the timestamps were from Aug. 28, 2021, at approximately 9 p.m. for a two-and-a-half-hour period.

The investigator continued by stating that the web search was tagged due to the sexual nature of the searches. He explained that the search included teens, for instance, “hot teen porn” with the repetitive term “teen” having been searched on “XVideos.”

The investigator added this site is solely for pornographic videos and photos.

The trial is ongoing this week.

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About The Author

Mihajla is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. She is pursing a major in Spanish and a minor in Immigration law. After graduation, she plans to go to law school and become an immigration lawyer.

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