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Crime The Internet

Murder Trial May Turn On Missing Router 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the hardware-witness dept.
bgood writes "The outcome of a murder trial taking place in Charlotte, NC, may turn on a missing router. State prosecutors believe that Brad Cooper may have used the router (never recovered by investigators) to make it appear his wife made a phone call from the house the day she disappeared. The trial is in its 8th week."
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Murder Trial May Turn On Missing Router

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  • Story Error (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @11:21AM (#36011242)

    This trial is in Raleigh, NC, not Charlotte, NC. Fact check much, people?

  • Re:VOIP? Router? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BagOBones (574735) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @11:34AM (#36011428)

    Complex? Impersonating the home line is actually a FEATURE sold with many of these services so you can call from lets say, your cell phone but have the call appear to come from your home. It often also works like a calling card does, making the cell call a local call. It is trivial to do.

  • Re:VOIP? Router? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @11:48AM (#36011576)

    True, but a cheep router is handy for it because you can use it then toss it in the dump. There are many out there that are relatively cheep and can be modded with custom firmware.

    Set a router up with the right firmware, configuration, and connections and I can easily see a VoIP engineer using it for that general purpose, then tossing it in a dumpster never to be seen again.

    Cheap? FTA it was a Cisco 3825S router which runs about $4k refurbished.

  • by Cytotoxic (245301) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:18PM (#36013798)

    I did a quick read of the case coverage over at WRAL and it does appear pretty darned sketchy for the state. In addition to denying the testimony about the invalid timestamps because the prosecution wouldn't have time to prepare a rebuttal, the reason for the late witness was apparently the fact that the judge disallowed the first defense witness as "not an expert". So their argument that they wouldn't have time to rebut is a little sketchy, if that story is right. The judge apparently did allow the prosecution to present the router evidence at the very last minute in the person of Chris Fry as a rebuttal witness. So disallowing the defense rebuttal witness on the computer files (apparently lots of files had altered timestamps after being taken into police custody, not just the google maps files). There was also some stuff about the police erasing data from cell phones.

    The whole thing sounds really sketchy for the prosecution. They claimed quite a few things definitively that the defense was able to absolutely prove false. It sounds like there was a pretty good PR campaign afoot to prove the guy guilty in the media as well.

    Having invested less than 15 minutes in the case, I couldn't say anything useful about whether the guy killed her or not. But I can say that I'm not at all impressed with the police/prosecution/judge team in the case. There seems to be a lot of disregard for a dispassionate arbiter of justice. From what I can glean from the press reports, there's a fairly unified team of police, prosecutors, press and judge all working to ensure a conviction, with a defense team and some of the guys friends working for an acquittal.

    I really didn't like the last minute inclusion of a second lesser charge of 2nd degree murder by the judge. This smacks of trying to get the jury to compromise on 2nd degree murder - a charge that would be entirely incompatible with the case the prosecution has presented (a case for premeditated murder). The jury is apparently fed up with the trial and wants to go home. So the judge offers them a way to compromise between guilty on first degree murder and acquittal - just convict on 2nd degree and you can all go home! Pretty sketchy stuff.

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