It’s been a full week since the Josh Duggar child pornography trial got underway in a federal courthouse in Fayettevile, Arkansas.
The world is looking on in morbid curiosity as a jury prepares to decide if the disgraced former reality star will spend the next 20 years behind bars.
Journalists from all over the country have descended on northwest Arkansas, and the courthouse has become the scene of intense drama, as the conclusion of the most shocking scandal in the history of reality television plays out inside.
The stakes couldn’t be higher, and after months of delays, Josh’s fate will likely be decided this week …
… so why can’t anyone in his family be bothered to show up to court?
Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, has stood by his side throughout the trial, but as many media outlets have pointed out, the rest of his family has mostly steered clear of the trial.
In fact, it seems they’re carrying on with life as though nothing is amiss.
The Ashley of The Ashley’s Reality Roundup is in Arkansas covering the trial and she’s obtained photos of the infamous Duggar compound that show a brightly-lit home decked out for the holiday season.
It makes sense, of course, as this is the Duggars’ favorite time of year, and most of them have made a point of publicly ignoring Josh’s trial.
Still, with everything this family is going through, it’s a bit of a shock to see the compound lit up like a landing strip, adorned with Christmas decorations and signs for Jim Bob’s state senate campaign.
So have any of the Duggars (other than Anna) even bothered to show up to the courthouse?
Well, Jim Bob was forced to testify at a pre-trial hearing last week, but he hasn’t been back since.
Jill and Jedediah Duggar are also on the witness list, but they have yet to be called to the stand.
(It’s still unclear if Josh’s siblings will be testifying for the defense or the prosecution.)
Acording to The Ashley, Joy-Anna Duggar sat in the gallery and observed testimony on Thursday and Friday of last week, and her husband, Austin Forsyth was with her on each occasion.
Austin also showed up in court alone on Tuesday of last week.
Speaking of spouses, Jill’s husband, Derick Dillard, has been in court every day since the trial began, and he’s sat next to Anna each time.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that Jill and Derick are necessarily supporting Josh.
Derick is a recent law school graduate, and witnesses say he’s been taking copious notes throughout the trial.
He might just be there to gather information that could be of use later on.
Derick has not yet been joined by Jill in court.
Justin Duggar was in court on Thursday, and for some reason, he was joined by his mother-in-law, Hilary Spivey.
Interestingly, Joy and Austin sat apart from the others during their days in court.
Jim Bob and Michelle have not attended as observers, nor have any of Josh’s other siblings.
Despite the fact that she lives a mere seven minutes from the courthouse, Jessa Duggar has not attended a single moment of her brother’s trial.
Along with Jill, Joy, and Jinger, Jessa was molested by Josh during her childhood.
The judge in his case ruled that Josh’s past sex crimes can be used against him in this trial.
So the likelihood of being forced to relive these horrors is one of many possible reasons that Jill and the others have chosen to steer clear of the courthouse.
The state senate campaign and the usual gaudily excessive Christmas decorations don’t come as much of a surprise to those who know Jim Bob best.
The Duggar patriarch has taken a “life goes on” attitude amid numerous previous scandals, and it’s clear that he won’t be allowing this trial to derail his political ambitions, regardless of the outcome.
The Ashley paid a visit to the used car lot that Josh used to own, and where he allegedly downloaded the illicit materials that might soon land him behind bars for decades.
Bizarrely, the trailer that served as the dealership’s primary office has been removed, but a very small secondary office still stands.
This is the scene of the alleged crimes, and The Ashley notes that only a desk and a tattered American flag remain inside the structure.
It’s a fitting symbol for a family whose ambitions were once nothing less than becoming the most powerful political dynasty in America.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.