Major County DA Drops Child Porn Charge Against Former Deputy


Friday, January 25th 2013, 9:32 pm
By: News 9


A former Major County Sheriff's deputy received some vindication Friday, after being arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

A judge has approved the district attorney's request to dismiss the charge against Daris Cope. For more than a year and a half, Cope had been facing the possession of child porn charge. He was fired as a deputy and has faced public ridicule, only to find out prosecutors did not have enough evidence for the charge to stick.

Cope says the ordeal started with accusations from an ex-girlfriend. The next thing he knew, law enforcement officials were searching his computer. He was arrested in July 2011 and later charged.

Sources close to the case say assistant district attorneys Westline Ritter and Susan Meinders threw the book at Cope prematurely, resulting in taxpayer dollars spent on a child porn investigation the prosecutors could not prove.

While the possession of child porn charge and a misdemeanor stalking charge were dismissed for lack of evidence Friday, Cope's court battle is still not over. That is why he says he refused to talk on camera Friday.

7/7/2011 Related Story: Major County Deputy Arrested On Suspicion Of Possessing Child Porn

"Right now [Cope] is facing a misdemeanor violation of the computer act and that's all that's pending at this point," defense attorney Michael Roberts said.

Cope says he decided not to go on camera after learning Major County prosecutors Ritter and Meinders were upset and embarrassed that the dismissal hearing would be reported on television.

News 9 attempted to see if that accusation was true, but Ritter and Meinders would not confirm or deny the charge. The prosecutors released a written statement to News 9 to say it is against their policy to talk about the case.

Cope says he had no knowledge of the alleged porn found on his computer and believes it came from a virus. Again, the District Attorney's Office would not comment. The next hearing for the misdemeanor charge has been scheduled for Sept. 13, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Major County District Courthouse.

Even though the previous child porn charge did not stick, prosecutors did say it is their intent to file the charge again on a later date. By the time of Cope's next scheduled hearing, he will have spent more than two years fighting the State of Oklahoma in court.