BPD can use cell phone surveillance evidence in murder case

Posted at 7:29 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 07:29:46-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court says police were justified in using a cell site simulator to track down a Baltimore homeless woman's cell phone in an attempt to find her killer.

Last week's Court of Appeals decision overturns a Circuit Court ruling suppressing evidence in the case against 40-year-old Robert Copes Jr.

The lower court said use of the cell site simulator, which mimics a cell phone tower in order to connect with and collect information on nearby phones, was a search, and that a court order allowing it use was not a search warrant.

The appeals court held that, regardless of whether the case involved a search or the need for a warrant, detectives acted in "objectively reasonable good faith."

Copes is charged in the 2014 death of 34-year-old Ina Jenkins.