Late last month, Josh and Anna Duggar strolled out of an Arkansas courthouse with self-satisfied smiles on their faces.
Those who are rightly disgusted by everything Josh does described him as smirking.
But like so many Duggar behaviors, the confident courthouse strut now seems to have been a calculated PR stunt.
By plastering a giant grin across his face, Josh was able to create speculation that the pre-trial hearing had gone well for him, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Josh’s lawyers had filed five motions to dismiss evidence and four of them were rejected at the hearing.
These motions represented the 33-year-old’s best chance of muddying the waters enough to create a shadow of doubt about his guilt.
Now that the judge in his case has seen right through this ploy, a guilty verdict seems to be almost a foregone conclusion.
And that verdict would essentially mean that Josh’s life, as he knows it, is over.
Josh is facing 40 years if convicted, but there’s a chance that he could still accept a plea deal that would result in a reduced sentence.
Insiders say that key members of Josh’s family — including his wife and parents — are still 100 percent confident in his innocence.
And those people have reportedly encouraged Josh to take the case to court, as they believe "the truth" will come out and his name will be cleared.
But Josh is the one facing decades behind bars and, well … he knows what he did.
And he knows better than anyone what sort of truths are about to emerge in court.
The motions that were denied by the judge are likely to have a major impact on the trial.
Most of them were attempts to have key pieces of evidence ruled inadmissible.
Now, the prosecution will be permitted to use that evidence, it seems almost impossible that Josh will go free.
One of the motions had to do with a question that Josh allegedly asked one of the Homeland Security officers who raided his office last year.
“What is this about? Has somebody been downloading child pornography?” Josh inquired.
He posited this question before any of the officers had made any mention of the reason for their raid.
Pretty damning stuff, and it’s not surprising that Josh’s lawyers are trying to have it ruled inadmissible.
They say that because Josh mentioned that he would like a lawyer, everything he said after that cannot be used as evidence.
In explaining his rulings on these motions, District Judge Timothy L. Brooks explained that that’s simply not how the system works.
“Not only did Mr. Duggar sign a form demonstrating he understood he was waiving his right to counsel, but he also manifested a clear understanding of the waiver and the voluntariness of his actions by reminding the agents before questioning began that he ‘may not answer everything,’” the judge continued.
Also at issue was a photo of Josh’s hands which indicates ownership of the laptop that contained the illegal materials.
Prosecutors say the photos taken on the day of Josh’s arrest match the ones that were found on Josh’s computer.
Since the defense’s case rests largely on denying that the laptop in question belongs to Josh, it’s not surprising that they tried to have the pics thrown out, arguing that they were taken against Josh’s will.
Yet again, the judge wasn’t having it.
Needless to say, the defense’s case is already crumbling, and the trial isn’t set to begin for six weeks.
A plea deal for Josh would likely involve at least a decade behind bars.
No doubt that’s a very unappealing prospect, but at this point, it’s probably becoming more attractive by the day.
Of course, it’s unlikely that Josh will take the deal, as the Duggars believe that he’ll be defending not only himself in that courtroom, but his family’s honor.
And as crazy as it sounds, there’s a very good chance that Josh is more afraid of his father than he is of 40 years behind bars.