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One pleads not guilty, but hearings set for others in W. Michigan child porn ring case

David Bailey, Jayme LaPointe, Talia Furman and Matthew Toole all face child pornography and sexual assault charges in at least two counties following a multi-agency investigation that started with videos discovered on a cell phone. (WWMT)

Matthew Toole, accused of plotting to kidnap, abuse and kill a child, pleaded not guilty Thursday as he waived his preliminary hearing in Branch County District Court in Coldwater, Michigan.

Three others charged in the case, Talia Furman, Jayme LaPointe and David Bailey, also appeared in court Thursday and now face a preliminary hearing Nov. 14.

Toole and Furman, both 32, have been in the Branch County Jail since their August arrests.

Investigators across three counties are working on the case, which involves the discovery of child pornography created in family homes and then shared digitally with others. Police also accuse Toole, Furman and LaPointe,19, of plotting to kidnap a child from a local county fair, then tie them up, torture, and eventually kill that child before disposing of the body.

One other person arrested in the case, David Bailey, was arraigned on multiple charges in Branch County in September.

Charges also have been filed against Toole and Furman in Calhoun County, Michigan. Furman is charged in Calhoun County with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13. Toole is charged with three counts. Both also are charged with eight felonies related to manufacturing, possessing and sharing child pornography.

In Branch County, Toole, Furman, LaPointe and Bailey have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct. All three charges are punishable by up to life in prison.

The investigation began when Michigan State Police detectives found videos of the sexual abuse of a baby on LaPointe’s phone. Investigators said the baby was one LaPointe had been caring for as a babysitter. Those videos led detectives to text messages detailing the plan to kidnap a child at a local fair.

During the investigation, detectives also uncovered child pornography, text messages, and emails targeting children that had been shared through devices belonging to the defendants in the case.

At least five children have been rescued from homes in Calhoun, Branch and Kalamazoo counties after being victimized as part of a child porn ring, police said.

Bonds for all four were set at $5 million.


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