CAMERON TRAVELSTEAD A/K/A CAMERON RAY TRAVELSTEAD A/K/A CAM TRAVELSTEAD APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 12/08/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. JEFF
JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE
GEORGE T. HOLMES ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH.
Cameron Travelstead appeals the judgment of the Hinds County
Circuit Court finding him guilty of exploitation of a child.
He argues that he deserves a new trial because the circuit
court improperly admitted certain hearsay testimony, allowed
improper closing argument by the State, permitted the illegal
amendment of the indictment, refused to give a proper jury
instruction, and excluded relevant defense evidence.
Travelstead also argues that he deserves a new trial because
he received ineffective assistance of counsel.
We find no merit to any of Travelstead's arguments;
therefore, we affirm his conviction and sentence.
A substantial portion of the evidence supporting
Travelstead's conviction was gathered by the use of a
peer-to-peer networking software program called FrostWire.
Peer-to-peer networking software allows users to share
electronic media between themselves directly over the
internet. Once a user installs FrostWire, a folder is created
in which the user can download files directly from other
network users and likewise directly share the contents of
that folder with other users of the networking software who
search for content using FrostWire. Law enforcement has
developed software to detect files being shared on
peer-to-peer networks that have file names or other unique
digital signatures called "hash values" associated
with child pornography. This gives law enforcement the
ability to generate reports of Internet Protocol (IP)
addresses that download and share suspected child
pornography. On January 31, 2010, Jay Houston, the deputy
commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force,
working through the Mississippi Attorney General's
Office, received a report. After reviewing the hash values of the
images contained in the report and independently determining
that the photos were child pornography, Houston obtained a
grand jury subpoena to obtain the identity of the person
associated with the IP address from which the files had been
The IP address from which the suspected child pornography was
downloaded belonged to Comcast account holder Joel
Travelstead, Travelstead's uncle. After obtaining a
search warrant, agents went to Joel's home and found
Travelstead there. After Mirandizing Travelstead, the agents
questioned him, and he admitted to downloading pornography to
his laptop computer. The agents later performed a forensic exam
of Travelstead's computer and found numerous deleted
photos constituting child pornography, as well as
child-pornography search terms used in searches that had been
performed using the computer's search engines.
Travelstead was indicted, pursuant to Mississippi Code
Annotated section 97-5-33(5) (Rev. 2007), on one count of
exploitation of a minor by possessing child pornography. He
was later convicted and sentenced to twenty years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with
eight years suspended and twelve years to serve, plus five
years of post-release supervision. He now appeals.
"We review a trial court's decision to admit or
exclude evidence under an abuse[-]of[- ]discretion standard.
Questions of law are reviewed under a de novo standard of
review." Anthony v. State, 23 So.3d 611, 616
(¶20) (Miss. Ct. App. 2009) (internal citation omitted).
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
(NCMEC) collects and stores images or photos of past victims
of child pornography into a database to catch future
perpetrators. The agents in this case used this database and
testified that they recognized several of the photos found on
Travelstead's computer. Based on that information, the