California Appellate Court denies Carpenter claim where Defendant sent message to “friend” who was really undercover officer.

In this robbery case, the victim was jumped by a group of 5 individuals in an incident that appeared to be gang related. A detective pretended to be someone that the Defendant could “friend” with a fake name on a social media account and the defendant then sent a message with a video believing it was for “friends” only. The video incriminated the Defendant in the robbery.

The appellate court, citing precedents from other jurisdictions, found conversations with others on social media accounts to not be analagous to cell site location information and found no expectation of privacy in conversations online with undercover officers.

The case is People v. Pride, 31 Cal. App. 5th 133, 242 Cal. Rptr. 3d 297, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 34, 2019 WL 151272 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist.) January 10, 2019.

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