Bentonville Police Subpoena Amazon for Echo Device to Solve Murder

KNWA

They’re always on. It’s a major selling point used by Amazon for it’s Echo personal assistant.

Bentonville Police Department said it’s why they want the device, and it could help solve a murder that happened over a year ago.

The attorney for James Andrew Bates said it’s an invasion of privacy.

Allen Bates, James father said, “I have a strong feeling about personal privacy. But I have a much stronger feeling about my sons innocence.”

Back in November of 2015, police said they were called to James Bates’ home. That’s where they found 47-year-old, Victor Collins dead, drowned inside a hot tub.

Bentonville Police Department hope any audio recordings can help decipher just what went on in the house that winter night.

Kimberly Weber is the lead Attorney for James Bates. She said,  “That’s information that needs to be private. And to use it, to take an innocent man, and to charge him with this crime,is an… it’s an anomaly in and of itself. But it’s absurd after 23 years of doing this, I’ve never seen a case like it.”

Bates’ attorney said not only is this an invasion of privacy, but it’s unreliable as well. “But even the things that you don’t intend to be recorded. In what context are they made?” said Weber.

Bates’ father said they’ve given up their life savings to prove their son’s innocence. “It has felt like to me that I am in this particular case, I have exhausted all of my personal resources proving his innocence again and again and again,” said Bates’ father.

Amazon declined to hand over those  voice records but did hand over Bates’ account details.

Amazons terms of use states,” We do not guarantee that Alexa or its functionality or content is accurate, reliable, or complete.”

“I think they’re over reaching and this is overly broad it really scares me that they’re getting into our homes this way,” Weber added.
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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