News

Actions

Court upholds use of cell phone surveillance in murder case

Posted at 8:57 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 08:57:57-04

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."