He noted that I had "hit the nail on the head" with my take on the technical evidence the San Francisco DA's office had presented to the court, and that much of what was presented in those documents is essentially the job description of a network admin, rather than the nefarious machinations of a rogue employee. He laughed at the reminder of the 1,100 modems quote from the expert hired by the City to investigate the case.
About halfway through the visit, the conversation veered away from the case and headed into the technical hinterlands -- to network design, various problems we had encountered while bit wrangling, the intricacies of OSPF and BGP, as well as routing protocol administrative weighting, policy routing, and so on. He devoured this conversation like a starving man. To me, it reinforced the fact that Childs had earned his CCIE certification, and left me with no question as to his technical abilities.
I asked him what he's been doing while in jail, and he told me that he has a few Cisco books, which I believe are Luc De Ghein's MPLS Fundamentals, and Rajesh Kumar Sharma's Cisco Network Security. He's been re-reading them and admonished me to do the same. Obviously, he's also been researching his case. Other than that, he has no access to a computer, nor any other form of communication other than occasional phone calls and visits.
I asked him what his plans were regarding the case, and he was adamant that he would not accept a plea agreement or settle for anything less than exoneration. "I'd lose my CCIE, and I worked too hard for that," he said.
Just before the deputies escorted the visitors from the room, I asked Childs if he would change anything knowing then what he knows now. He paused for a few seconds, and then shook his head. "I'd have gotten out before it came to this. I have a great house, bro, love my house, and I'm on the verge of losing it since I'm in here. I'm out of a job, and don't know what'll happen with all this." His eyes suddenly hardened and his voice dropped a dozen decibels. "And it's a different world in here, man."
Childs heads back to court for a hearing on February 13.