Judge Orders Amazon Echo Recordings To Be Handed Over For Murder Case
A judge in New Hampshire has ordered Amazon to hand over recordings taken by one of its smart home devices in the hopes that it will solve a murder case from 2017.
The order, which was issued Friday, requires Amazon to obtain and give over recordings taken from an Amazon Echo located in a Farmington, N.H. house, where a double-murder allegedly took place last year. Christine Sullivan, who lived with her boyfriend at the time, was found dead on Jan. 29, 2017, along with Jenna Pellegrini, who was also living with her at the time. (RELATED: Murdered Superstar Rapper Allegedly Had A Very Dark Past Of Domestic Violence)
Sullivan was reportedly stabbed eight times and was found under a tarp with a fractured skull. Pellegrini was under the same tarp, believed to be stabbed 43 times.
Timothy Verrill, 34, a suspected drug dealer living nearby, was charged with two first-degree murders. He pled not guilty.
Here’s where it gets interesting … the ruling, which was handed down to Strafford County Superior Court Presiding Justice Steven M. Houran on Friday, now requires additional evidence. And much of that evidence is thought to be on the Amazon Echo.
“Accordingly, the State’s motion to search in lieu of a search warrant is granted,” the ruling reads. “The court directs Amazon.com to produce forthwith to the court any recordings made by an Echo smart speaker with Alexa voice command capability, FCC ID number ZWJ-0823, from the period of January 27, 2017 to January 29, 2017, as well as any information identifying cellular devices that were paired to that smart speaker during that time period.” (RELATED: Smart Speakers And Their Potential Privacy Concerns)
Police currently have the device in their possession.
But an Amazon representative told the AP that the company refuses to release any information “without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us.”
The official didn’t mention anything about Amazon collecting or not collecting all of people’s data at all times.