Cell tower

/Tag: Cell tower

Location Data from Previously Overlooked Cell Site Records was used to Exonerate a Man after 17 years in Jail.

In 2000, teenager Vernon Horn was convicted for a January 1999 robbery and murder at a New Haven, CT neighborhood convenience store.  The primary evidence allegedly linking Vernon Horn to the crime scene was a record of calls made from a cell phone stolen during the robbery.  The State had no physical evidence linking Vernon Horn to the crime scene. 17 years later cell site records were used to set aside the conviction.  Those records were located in the basement of a retired police detective and had never been disclosed to the defense. New evaluation of the cell phone call record established that, based on the location of the cell phone at the time of the calls, combined with which cell site towers they used, Vernon Horn could not have committed the robbery and homicide.  The new evaluation showed the first call was made from Bridgeport, CT while Vernon Horn was in New Haven, CT speaking with a police officer.  The cell site evidence also showed all five of the phone calls in question were made from Bridgeport. The physical address of each cell site and its orientation could have been obtained by the original defense team at the time simply by requesting that information through a subpoena to the cellular service provider, specifically the call detail and cell site records.  This case is a good example of the need for early assessment and collection cellular service provider records and the need for defense teams to have an up-to-date cellular service provider subpoena guide and retention schedule. See IRIS LLC Post http://bit.ly/2GgZpG7  See Newspaper Article http://bit.ly/2KKw5ep Information and tools to aid Public Defenders in pre-trial or post-conviction cases can be found through The Digital Evidence Innocence [...]

Digital Innocence: Google Timeline Location Data

Google Timeline, launched in 2015, is a feature that contains location history and can establish that a user was located at a particular place and time. Google Timeline is a potential source of exculpatory evidence for criminal defense cases and wrongful conviction cases.  Google collects location data from a user’s mobile device if they have a Google account and location services are enabled. This data is captured even while the device is idle.  Android users are prompted to set up a Google account upon activation of their new mobile device and Apple iPhone users can also add a Gmail account to their device.  This location data could exist since the creation of the account.  Per Google, this information is derived from GPS data, cell site/cell tower information, and Wi-Fi access points. Google collects this data whenever one of their services is activated and/or whenever there is an event on the mobile device such as a phone call, text messages, internet access, or email access. Google information can also contain Gmail, photos and videos, search history, contacts, applications, other connected devices, Google Voice and Google Wallet. Google’s Timeline feature allows criminal defense attorneys and investigators to obtain detailed information about where someone has been – down to the longitude and latitude – over the course of YEARS. Additional information found here Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method White Paper and here IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Toolbox: Location Data