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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: cell phones

Cell ‘pocket dials’ 911, leading to arrest

CLAY, N.Y. (AP) — An ill-timed, inadvertent 911 call led police to three larceny suspects overheard planning break-ins in upstate New York.

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says police already looking for a suspicious person got the unlikely assist when one of the men “pocket dialed” his cellphone's emergency number while driving near the scene of an earlier heist.

As a dispatcher relayed the conversation to deputies, the men discussed their plans, described their surroundings and even commented, “there go the cops now.”

Walsh says that was enough for a deputy to turn around and stop the Kia Sportage full of tools stolen from a business in the Syracuse suburb of Clay.

The dispatcher then heard the driver being asked for his license and registration. The men arrested April 26 face grand larceny and stolen property charges.

GPS app cracks Sandpoint phone caper

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — Recovering a stolen cell phone? There's an app for that.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports 22-year-old Sean B. Mahoney of Sandpoint pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and possession of drug paraphernalia on Wednesday in a case that was cracked by the owner of a stolen cell phone. Mahoney was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

A Sandpoint resident reported a cell phone, snowboard and goggles were taken from his sport utility vehicle on Dec. 18.

The GPS-enabled phone contained a software application that can be activated when the device is stolen. The owner used the app and a laptop to track the handset to a house where the items were recovered, along with two other stolen snowboards, several holiday checks apparently taken from neighborhood mailboxes, drug pipes and marijuana seeds and stems.

Cell phone call leads to juror’s dismissal

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — One of the jurors has been dismissed at the aggravated murder trial in Spokane of a man accused of killing five people at a Pasco auto body shop 23 years ago.

The Tri-City Herald reports the juror was excused Tuesday because he was making a cell phone call in a hallway and may have seen the defendant in the custody of guards. The court has taken care not to show Vicente Ruiz in custody to avoid the implication of guilt.

Two alternates remain on the jury.

The trial of the 46-year-old was moved to Spokane from Franklin County after two mistrials.

Prosecutors are wrapping up their case and the defense may start calling witnesses on Friday.

Read a longer story from the Tri-City Herald by clicking the link below.

Past coverage:

Dec. 7: Spokane medical examiner is ‘87 Pasco murder witness

Ringtone about breasts interrupts court

There are inappropriate ringtones, and then there are epicly inappropriate ringtones that blare during a quiet court proceeding.

A spectator attending first appearances in Judge Michael Price’s courtroom Tuesday had the latter.

The man’s cell phone rang for several seconds in the midst of a suspect’s appearance on a felony arrest, eliciting uncomfortable murmurs from the courtroom and a scolding from Price.

The song?

“I Love Tits!” apparently by an artist named Dr. Sausage. The lyrics are probably how you might imagine them: not quite appropriate for a courtroom.

The man sent the call to voicemail, but the phone blared again when the message went through a few seconds later.

He told Price he’d silenced the phone, but the damage was done: Price instructed him to go out in the hallway. The man left without seeing his buddy’s court appearance. No word on who he was there to see.

Juror’s cell-phone surfing prompts mistrial

A juror caused a mistrial in a recent Stevens County drug case after he used a cell phone to look up legal information.

Betty Torres will be retried after a judge granted her lawyer’s mistrial motion last week because a juror accessed the Internet from his phone in the jury room to “answer some question about the charge,” according to the Stevens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Torres is accused of helping exchange heroin for pills manufactured to look like OxyContin pills.

The trial began Monday. Jurors were preparing to deliberate Tuesday afternoon when the court learned of the juror’s Internet use, Rasmussen said.

“All the effort by the parties and the court and the jury was wasted, as well as the 30 or so persons who had been summoned and from which the jury was chosen,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen wrote about this in his weekly column. Read the column by clicking the link below.

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