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Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Monday, March 25, 2013
Substitute takes plea, avoids trial

Former Monroe County School District substitute teacher William Britt, who is accused of possessing child pornography, took a last-minute plea this month and avoided trial that had been set for today.

The details of that plea have not been made public and whether any such plea agreement would stand will have to be approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow at a plea hearing that had yet to be scheduled as of Friday.

Britt, 55, of Key West, was scheduled to go to trial at the federal courthouse Monday, but public defender Michael Caruso filed paperwork on March 7 indicating his client was open to a plea, according to court records.

Department of Justice attorneys have repeatedly stated they don't comment on pending litigation.

Britt remains jailed since his arrest on Nov. 8, when sheriff's deputies said they found him with a hard drive filled with images of children engaging in sexual acts and a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun. He was arrested after a fake job interview was set up Glynn Archer Elementary School, where Britt had taught as a substitute teacher during the current school year.

Britt was charged with possessing child pornography and an unregistered shotgun.

He had faced a maximum of 20 years in prison if was found guilty at trial.

Britt, who since 2010 taught intermittently at public schools in Key West, Marathon and Sugarloaf, was assigned a public defender by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow during a brief hearing Monday.

Britt, who had recently moved to Key West from Cudjoe Key, lived in a trailer parked at the Sigsbee Naval Air Station when he was arrested.

Britt's first teaching job in the Florida Keys was in 2010 at Horace O'Bryant Middle School, where he taught kids with emotional behavior disorders, earning a yearly $44,970 salary.

During the current school year, Britt worked as a substitute teacher for $100 a day at HOB, Sugarloaf, Key West High, Marathon High, Glynn Archer and Gerald Adams elementary schools, according to School District documents.

The pornographic images were described in federal court documents as naked children between the ages of 6 and 8 performing sexual acts.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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