Boone man convicted of killing deputy in 1963 arrested on child - | WBTV Charlotte

Boone man convicted of killing deputy in 1963 arrested on child porn charges

Rittenhouse (Watauga County Sheriff's Office) Rittenhouse (Watauga County Sheriff's Office)
BOONE, NC (WBTV) -

A man convicted of killing a deputy in 1963 was arrested in Boone Wednesday on child pornography charges.

Thomas Arthur Rittenhouse, 73, is charged with six counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges come after an investigation into the possession and distribution of child pornography by Boone police, Watauga deputies and SBI.

Officials say Rittenhouse shot and killed Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Deputy Odos Neal Smith on February 3, 1963, in Oklahoma. 

According to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial web page, Rittenhouse was hitchhiking when he was picked up by a McLoud constable. Once the constable learned that Rittenhouse was AWOL from an Air Force base in Kansas, he arrested the hitchhiker.

Deputy Smith was then called to help transport Rittenhouse to the county jail. The officers took a 30-30 Winchester rifle from Rittenhouse but did not see a .25 automatic pistol he was carrying in a shoulder holster.

While Rittenhouse was riding in the back seat of the patrol car with his hands cuffed in front of him, he opened fire on the deputy, hitting him four times. The constable then wrecked the car and Rittenhouse jumped out. Both the deputy and constable tried to pursue Rittenhouse, but Deputy Smith collapsed in the road and was struck by a vehicle and dragged 30 feet.

Rittenhouse then surrendered to the constable at the scene.

For the child exploitation charges Rittenhouse was given a $75,000 bond and is due in court on October 17.

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