FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In a federal appeal that has already been slowed by a host of delays, Joshua Duggar’s defense team was granted another extension to submit a brief to the court.
Duggar, 34, a former reality TV personality, was found unanimously guilty on a pair of child pornography charges in December 2021. In May, he was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison.
On November 22, the prosecution filed a response to the defense’s opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis. That filing stated that “Duggar’s claims uniformly lack merit, and the district court’s judgment should be affirmed in its entirety.”
A timeline of deadlines set by the court in June stated that the defense response to the government filing would be due seven days later, which would have been this week. On November 28, Duggar’s team requested and was granted an extension of time until December 13.
“Given the complexity of the issues on appeal and the need for undersigned counsel to confer with Duggar, who is in custody, Duggar respectfully requests an additional 14 days within which to file his reply brief,” defense attorney Justin Gelfand stated. The government did not oppose the request.
In October, the appeals court gave notice that it intends to listen to oral arguments in the case. The court announced that each side would receive a calendar approximately four weeks before the scheduled argument date.
Online schedules for the appeals court are published approximately 30 days in advance. The next available window would be January 9-13, 2023, but there is no guarantee that Duggar’s argument will be heard during that time. The Eight Circuit appeals court in St. Louis also has openings to hear arguments April 10-14, 2023 and June 12-16, 2023.
Duggar was found unanimously guilty in the western district of Arkansas federal court in Fayetteville in December 2021 and was sentenced in May. His defense team has maintained his innocence throughout the case.
He is currently serving his sentence in Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Seagoville, outside of Dallas. His federal prison sentence will be followed by a supervised release term of 20 years, with a host of special conditions attached.