Convicted sex offender caught with child pornography pleads guilty on 8 charges

Zachary M. Howell (Knoxville PD)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A convicted sex offender out of Knoxville pleaded guilty to eight charges involving child pornography on Monday morning.

Previous story: Knoxville police arrest sex offender driving wrong way with child 

Zachary M. Howell, 30, of Knoxville pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploration of a minor, four counts of violating the sex offender registry and three counts of violating community supervision.

He appeared at the Knox County Division I Court and was sentenced to six years in prison.

In August, Howell was caught driving the wrong way with a nine-year-old in the car. He was prohibited from being caught with children.

He was pulled over at a traffic stop when noticed him near University Avenue in Knoxville. Police also uncovered what is believed to be child pornography on his cell phone. Officers obtained a search warrant which revealed approximately 50 images of child pornography.

Howell was charged with aggravated sexual battery in 2005. He’s also classified as a “Violence Against Children Sex Offender” and is on lifetime supervision.

He must serve 30 percent of the sentence, which is the maximum sentence that can be levied for the charges, officers said. Once Howell is released he will remain on the sex offender registry and on lifetime supervision.

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