Ex-cop in county jail

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A former Vestavia Hills and Anniston police officer who evaded authorities now sits in the Shelby County Jail on federal charges of child endangerment, sexual abuse of a child under 12, rape and sodomy.

Ronald L. Whitworth Jr., 35, was booked and processed on Sept. 11, according to sheriff’s officials. Shelby County deputies arrested Whitworth in April. He spent six days in jail before he was released on $260,000 bond.

The Secret Service searched Whitworth’s home in May, when authorities discovered child pornography on Whitworth’s computer. A federal grand jury later indicted Whitworth on charges of possessing child pornography and transporting a minor across state lines.

Whitworth then fled to Los Angeles and Lynnwood, Wash., where he was captured on Aug. 18.

On Monday, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Greene denied Whitworth bond during a detention hearing in Birmingham. Greene also deemed Whitworth a flight risk and a danger to the community.