Friday, 16 November, 2018

Amazon Alexa recordings may be used in investigation

A stock image of an Amazon Echo Modal Trigger Getty Images
Roberta Sherman | 11 November, 2018, 03:37

Judge Steven Houran has directed Amazon.com to produce recordings made by an Echo smart speaker with Alexa voice command capability because it could have clues about the last moments of Christine Sullivan's life.

She was stabbed eight times and her skull fractured in the kitchen.

Timothy Verrill, 34, was charged with first degree murder in the deaths of both women and he pleaded not guilty in February 2017.

The bodies were left in the backyard, under a tarp, and a knife was buried nearby, police said. He pleaded not guilty in February 2017.

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Two women were found murdered at a home in Farmington, N.H., on January 29, 2017.

The potential recording is now stored on an Amazon server.

Verrill had access to the home's security code and was seen on the home's surveillance cameras with both of the women before their deaths, according to WMUR.

Timothy Verrill of Dover, N.H. was accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of 48-year-old Christine Sullivan and 32-year-old Jenna Pellegrini at a Farmington home in 2017.

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"Investigators believe Sullivan was attacked in the kitchen of 979 Meaderboro Road where the Echo was located, and prosecutors believe there is probable cause to believe there is evidence on the Echo, such as audio recordings of the attack and events that followed it", CBS Boston reported, citing court documents.

The motion, which was made in lieu of an application for a search warrant, also asks for information identifying cellular devices that were paired to that smart speaker in that time period.

Amazon's Echo is supposed to activate only when the user utters a predetermined "wake word", but there have been numerous reports of the devices turning on by themselves, speaking and laughing creepily without being activated by the user.

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