PASCAGOULA -- A Moss Point man pleaded guilty Monday to two charges of child exploitation.
James Keith Ward Jr., of Moss Point, entered the plea before Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson, admitting that he downloaded at least four images of child pornography on two different devices at least 20 times on or about March 7, 2012.
The judge deferred sentencing in the case until March 7. Each count is punishable by up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
Assistant District Attorney Angel Myers said the state has recommended a 40-year sentence on each charge to run concurrently, with eight years total for Ward to serve day-for-day.
The state left it up to the court's discretion to determine fines in the case. But they also recommended that Ward pay a $1,000 special assessment fee and $250 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund plus time after serving his sentence of post-release supervision.
Jackson County sheriff's investigators arrested Ward in March 2012 after serving a search warrant at a home in the 4100 block of Wisteria Lane in Moss Point, where he was living.
Ward told the judge Monday he is not employed and is currently living with his father, who financially supports him. Ward's attorney, Amanda Galle, pointed out Ward currently is his father's caregiver and asked for sentencing to be deferred to give him time to make arrangements for his father.
The judge allowed Ward to remain free on bond pending sentencing in March.