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Texas death sentence voided over phone texts obtained without warrant

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Texas death sentence voided over phone texts obtained without warrant

 

By Chuck Lindell - American-Statesman Staff

Posted: 2:52 p.m. Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Highlights

Conviction and death sentence overturned in Waco double homicide.

 

Appeals court rules that suspect’s text messages were improperly seized without a search warrant.

 

Giving text messages the same legal protection long afforded to written letters and other mail, the state’s highest criminal court tossed out a death sentence Wednesday over texts that were obtained without a search warrant.

 

In a 6-3 ruling, the Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial for Albert Love Jr., who was sentenced to death in 2013 for a Waco double homicide that prosecutors said was committed in retaliation for the shooting death of a friend.

 

Prosecutors had admitted into evidence more than 1,600 text messages to and from Love in an attempt to show jurors that he was with two other men when more than 20 bullets were fired into a parked car, killing two of four occupants, in March 2011. The texts showed Love was proud of the shooting, hid the murder weapons, went into hiding himself and asked his sister to provide an alibi, prosecutors argued.Scissors-32x32.png

 

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