Former substitute teacher accused of possessing child porn, marijuana

Justin Linsman
Justin Linsman

By CJ Cassidy

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Do you think educators should be held to a higher standard?  Some folks in Caruthersville say they do, in the wake of charges against a man who spent time in the classroom just a couple of years ago.

Justin Linsman, 31, worked for the Blytheville School District two years ago and also ran for School Board in Caruthersville.

He did not get elected, but the charges against him still leaves people who know Linsman wondering what went wrong.

"I didn't notice Linsman was on there at all," said Patricia Thomas. "If I did, I wouldn't have voted for him."

She can't believe a man who ran for a school board position in Caruthersville could now face child porn and drug charges.  Thomas lives across from Linsman's home on Laurant Street.

That's where police say they found pictures and video containing child pornography.

Officers came to Linsman's house to investigate a case of domestic violence, and saw what appeared to be marijuana inside.

They say a search warrant uncovered more than 100 pot plants inside Linsman's bedroom.

Police say they also found marijuana and books on cultivating the drug, in addition to the child porn.

"He basically keeps to himself, stays on the internet, that's probably why he does what he did," said Thomas. "Allegedly. As far as the drugs, I had no clue!"

Two years ago Linsman worked as a substitute teacher in Blytheville, Arkansas.  Superintendent Bruce Daniels tells Heartland News a principal complained about Linsman's job performance, and that put an end to his substitute teacher duties at the Blytheville school district.

Meanwhile, Caruthersville School Board Member Lee Bethune ran against Linsman and other candidates back in 2007.  Bethune got elected and Linsman ended up with just four percent of the vote.

"It would be disappointing for a faculty member of a school board or a potential school board member to have charges or allegations brought against them of this nature," Bethune said.

Justin Linsman is being held in the Pemiscot County Jail on $60,000 bond Thursday.

His family declined to comment.