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Former Edna band director to stand trial on child pornography charge

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
April 7, 2010 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated April 6, 2010 at 11:07 p.m.


Former Edna High School band director Billy Forrest Marquis Jr. will go before federal court in Victoria on Wednesday, facing charges of seven counts of possession of child pornography.

Marquis worked with the school district as assistant band director and head band director from 2002 until March 2009, when he resigned.

Superintendent Bob Wells said Marquis did not have any legal troubles while he was working with the district, and the district performed state and national criminal history checks before his hire.

"But none of that was a trigger for Mr. Marquis," Wells said.

The pornography charges stem back to May 3, when Marquis knowingly possessed seven pictures of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct on his Samsung computer, according to the indictment. Marquis was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Jan. 25.

Marquis was previously employed in Red River, Wharton, Colorado, Edwards, Zavala, Floyd and Cochran counties.

Leland Johnson, whose son attends Edna High School, was disappointed to hear about the case.

"I'm sad at the fact that it happened anywhere," he said. "You never know. It's not only happening here. He's just one of the ones that got caught."

Marquis' bail was set at $50,000 and he has since posted bail. He is under home detention in Edna and cannot come into contact with minors or frequent any establishment catering to children. He also cannot possess or operate a computer, cell phone or access the Internet, according to court documents.

He faces 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

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