Convicted Murderer Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

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A man convicted of killing a Oklahoma Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested by Boone Police on child pornography charges.

On Wednesday August 23rd, 2017, the Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation concluded an investigation of Thomas Arthur Rittenhouse, 73-years-old, of Bamboo Road in Boone, for the Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. Rittenhouse is charged with six counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, his court date is set for October 17th, 2017 and his conditions of release were set as a $75,000 secured bond.

The Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are members of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet.

According to Boone Police and the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial webpage, Thomas Arthur Rittenhouse murdered a Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office Deputy by the name of Odos Neal Smith, on Sunday, February 3rd, 1963 in Oklahoma.  The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial webpage details the following:

“On the evening of Sunday, February 3, 1963, a McLoud constable arrested Thomas Arthur Rittenhouse who had been hitchhiking carrying a 30-30 Winchester rifle. When the constable learned Rittenhouse was AWOL from an Air Force Base in Kansas, he arrested him.  The constable contacted Deputy Smith at his home to assist him in transporting Rittenhouse to the County Jail. Shortly after 10 P.M. the constable was driving to Shawnee with the deputy and prisoner in the back seat. Both officers had not noticed a .25 automatic pistol Rittenhouse was carrying in a shoulder holster and his hands were handcuffed in front of him. One mile east of Dale on Highway 270, Rittenhouse drew the weapon and shot Deputy Smith four times in the chest, leg and shoulders. The constable then wrecked the vehicle and the suspect jumped out. The wounded deputy got out of the wrecked police car and tried to pursue the suspect but collapsed in the roadway. A passing vehicle struck the deputy in the highway and dragged his body 30 feet before stopping.  Rittenhouse surrendered to the constable at the scene. Deputy Sheriff Smith was survived by his wife.”

Thomas Arthur Rittenhouse

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