Ohio prosecutor appealing ruling on GPS tracking

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A prosecutor said he will ask the Ohio
Supreme Court to consider whether police can use GPS devices to track
vehicles without a warrant.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien
will request an appeal of last week’s ruling by a county appeals court
that threw out evidence in a burglary case because a detective placed a
GPS device on a suspect’s car without asking a judge for a warrant,
according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1oLKQ00 ).
Common
Pleas Judge Michael J. Holbrook ruled in February 2013 that some
evidence against 22-year-old burglary suspect Montie Sullivan was
inadmissible because it violated his constitutional right against
illegal searches.
Holbrook relied on a 2012 ruling by the U.S.
Supreme Court that found that placing a GPS device on a vehicle and
tracking it constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. That
ruling, however, did not address the need for a warrant.
Last week, a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld the ruling.
Sullivan’s attorney said the appeals court decision means that prosecutors "have no evidence
left" against him.
The
Franklin County detective placed the device on the outside of a car
registered to Sullivan in a public parking lot on Jan. 14, 2010, after
Sullivan and another man were linked to a series of home invasions. The
car’s movements were monitored until the detective noticed the car
lingering in the area of a residence south of Columbus on Jan. 23.
Within
minutes, a resident reported a home invasion. By the time deputies
arrived, two gunmen had fled after shooting through a side door. The GPS
was used to track the pair to an apartment, where they were arrested.
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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com
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