Texas Court of Appeals reverses murder conviction based on Carpenter violation.

In this Texas murder case, the appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial based on the Defendant’s denial of a motion to suppress the defendant’s cell site location information. In this case in 2015, the State obtained a court order under the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2703 and its Texas counterpart. The order sought the defendant’s CSLI for a period of 5 and a half months.

The appellate court’s held that the trial court erred by failing to suppress the CSLI. The court ordered additional briefing in light of Carpenter and found Carpenter to be controlling. Given the facts of the case and the fact that the prosecutors placed emphasis on the CSLI in closing arguments.

The case is Dixon v. State, 566 S.W.3d 348, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 10340, 2018 WL 6581709 (TX Ct of Appeals) December 13, 2018.

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