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Westerfield's son describes finding porn

David Westerfield listens to testimony Wednesday.
David Westerfield listens to testimony Wednesday.  

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- The son of the man accused of killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam testified Wednesday that his father accessed and downloaded pornography on a computer.

Daniel Westerfield, 50, is accused of kidnapping Danielle from her suburban San Diego bedroom on February 1, killing her and dumping her body along a desert road.

Danielle was reported missing by her parents February 2. After a search, her decomposed body was found February 27 along a rural road east of San Diego, 25 miles from her home.

The defense rested earlier in the day.

Neal Westerfield, 18, testifying as a rebuttal witness for the prosecution, said he found CD-ROMs in his dad's home office that contained downloads from pornography sites, including child porn-type subjects.

Neal, a college student, said he accidentally discovered the material while searching for a video game he had misplaced.

When asked if he had visited porn sites on his dad's computer, Neal appeared embarrassed, admitting he accessed pornography over three or four years. Neal divided his time between his mother and father's homes.

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During testimony, Neal smiled broadly at his dad but avoided eye-contact throughout questioning. He was asked about several Web sites that contained child pornography, but he said he had not visited them.

Besides Neal, the prosecution called two other rebuttal witnesses, including a golf course groundskeeper who worked close to the area where the Danielle's naked body was found in late February.

The groundskeeper testified about weather conditions in February. Prosecutors said his testimony could help to more accurately pinpoint when the girl's body was dumped.

The prosecution has already rested. Following rebuttals by both the prosecution and defense, closing arguments in the trial may be held as early as next week.

If convicted, Westerfield could face the death penalty.

Westerfield, a twice-divorced father of grown children, was arrested February 22. He became a suspect because he had left on a desert camping trip within hours of Danielle's disappearance.

Danielle's disappearance drew national headlines and rallied scores of volunteers to search for her in the hills surrounding the family's home.

The case has since been followed by other high-profile reports of missing young girls, including that of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, who was found dead in the Los Angeles area.

The Westerfield trial began June 4 but was interrupted by an 11-day break for Superior Court Judge William Mudd's vacation.

The prosecution has built its case on circumstantial evidence against the 50-year-old design engineer.

The strongest evidence against Westerfield came from forensic experts. Analysts testified there were many indications of Danielle van Dam's presence in the defendant's home and recreational vehicle.

Danielle van Dam
Danielle van Dam  

Prosecutors presented witnesses who revealed inconsistencies in Westerfield's story to police regarding his whereabouts the first weekend in February, the weekend Danielle vanished from her bedroom.

Defense attorneys have questioned the timeline of Danielle's death and Westerfield's whereabouts.

On Monday, a second entomologist testified that the age of the insects found on Danielle's body suggested the victim was left along a highway long after Westerfield had come under constant police surveillance.

Forensic entomologists cannot tell when death occurred but can estimate the time a body was colonized by insects.

The defense also examined the lifestyle of Danielle's parents. Both parents have acknowledged on the witness stand that they have had multiple sex partners.

Defense attorneys suggested that this practice brought many people into the van Dam household who could have committed the killing.




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