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Maryland judge about to be arrested dies in apparent suicide

Investigators said Newell was wanted on federal charges for child pornography.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Federal and local officials say an Eastern Shore judge who was about to be arrested at his home on federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child was found dead. 

Officials say FBI agents went to the residence of Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell in Henderson, Maryland, early Friday morning to arrest him. 

Acting Maryland U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner and other officials say in a joint statement that upon entering the residence the agents found Newell suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The statement says he was pronounced dead at 6:43 a.m.

Investigators said Newell was wanted on federal charges for child pornography. In July, police responded to a cabin on Hoopers Island after a child found a video camera in the bathroom and called his parents. 

According to a police report obtained by CBS affiliate WJZ, there were six boys staying overnight with Newell in the cabin.

According to court documents, Newell denied placing the camera, but later went to his bedroom and swallowed a memory card from a box with camera equipment.

Investigators took him to the hospital for a CT scan, which showed the memory card in his body, WJZ reports.

Newell, 50, was appointed to the Caroline County Circuit Court by Gov. Larry Hogan in August 2016. Before that, he served as the Caroline County State’s Attorney for 13 years.

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