Judges Recuse Themselves, Laclede County Prosecutor Asks For Special Prosecutor In Child Pornography Case

Two Laclede County Judges have recused themselves, and Laclede Counties Prosecuting Attorney, Amy Folsom has asked for a special prosecutor in the case of 54-year-old Matthew Wright of Lebanon. Wright was a publisher at the Lebanon Publishing Company and husband to former Laclede County Prosecutor Angie Hemphill Wright. The prosecutor’s office has charged him with two counts of promoting child pornography in the first degree and one count of possession of child pornography.

An investigation that began with a Cyber tip line report led to the arrest on Monday evening. In November, a Lake Area Cyber Crimes Task Force member began investigating the report tied to an IP address in Lebanon. The IP was used to share child pornographic material in August 2023. During the investigation, videos and pictures of children and adults in sexually explicit positions were located on an instant messaging and video-sharing service. Law Enforcement obtained a search warrant on Monday, and during a search, two phones were seized and found to contain videos and images involving children.

Wright is currently being held in the Laclede County Jail pending a bond hearing on Thursday before Judge James Grantham of Morgan County.