Two Lamar County residents plead guilty to child exploitation

Two Lamar County residents pleadguilty to child exploitation.

Hunter Richardson Howell, 31, ofHattiesburg, and Robert Shawn Sumrall, 29, of Purvis, each pled guilty to onecount of child exploitation before special circuit Judge William E. Andrews,III in Lamar County on Monday. 

Each defendant was sentenced to 10years, with five to serve, five suspended and five years post releasesupervision. According to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, thedefendants must pay an assessment of $1,000 to the Crime Victim’s Compensationfund and register as sex offenders.

The investigation showed that bothdefendants were in possession of multiple images of child pornography.

 The cases developed followingarrests by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes AgainstChildren Task Force, with assistance from Lamar County Sheriff’s Office. The cases were prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.