Alexa, who killed these women? U.S. judge orders Amazon to provide Echo's audio files
In hopes of solving a double homicide case, a judge is turning to Amazon’s Alexa, who may have captured the chilling moment two women died in a New Hampshire home.
In January 2017, 48-year-old Christine Sullivan and 32-year-old Jenna Pellegrini were stabbed to death in Sullivan’s home in Farmington, N.H.
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Prosecutors said Sullivan was stabbed eight times and her skull was fractured. Pellegrini, who had been staying in the home, was stabbed 43 times, officials said.
Timothy Verrill, 36, who is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the women, has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial next year.
Amazon’s Echo speaker with the Alexa voice assistant was reportedly on the kitchen counter when Sullivan was killed and may have picked up what happened before and after her death.
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Although police seized the Echo when they investigated the crime scene, any recordings are stored on Amazon servers.
On Nov. 5, Superior Court Justice Steven Houran ordered Amazon to provide a recording of it, saying “there is probable cause to believe” the Echo device may have captured the killing.
“The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server(s) and/or records maintained for or by Amazon.com contain recordings made by the Echo smart speaker from the period of January 27, 2017 to January 29, 2017,” Houran wrote in the ruling.
“And that such information contains evidence of crimes committed against Ms. Sullivan, including the attack and possible removal of the body from the kitchen.”
READ MORE: Police seek Amazon Echo smart speaker data to help solve murder case
But Amazon is fighting back and said it would not hand over any data without a binding legal demand, according to the Associated Press.
“Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us,” Amazon said in a statement. “Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.”
This is not the first time the tech giant has been ordered to turn over recordings in order to help solve a homicide.
Last year, Amazon agreed to hand over data from an Echo that may have been operating when a homicide took place in Arkansas in November 2015. But Amazon only gave the data after a suspect, who owned the speaker, agreed to release the information.
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