Defense Objects to Use of Cellphone Data in Murder Case

During a trial readiness hearing on Feb. 7, a defense attorney told a judge that he disagreed with the prosecution using electronic data from a cellphone as evidence in a murder case. 

Robert Wilson Dean Jr, 61, is charged with first-degree murder while armed with a screwdriver for allegdely stabbing Tamiya White, 38, on March 31, 2018, on the 1000 block of Mount Olivet Road., NE. White and Dean were in a relationship at the time, according to court documents.

Dean’s defense attorney, Anthony Matthews, objected to the use of the cellphone’s electronic data. He said the cellphone only needed to be tested for DNA to connect Dean to White. All the electronic data collected should be suppressed. 

Matthews also added that the prosecution had not given the defense all the evidence in order to be tested by an independent lab. 

The prosecution told DC Superior Court Judge Ronna Lee Beck that all the evidence had been tested for DNA. Among the tested evidence was a cellphone which allegedly belonged to Dean. 

The prosecutor said she did not intend to use the DNA evidence. Instead the prosecutor wanted to use the cellphone’s electronic data as evidence.

Judge Beck told the prosecution that the defense’s request to suppress the electronic data needed to be addressed, and that counsel had to discuss the matter. She also told the prosecutor to submit all the evidence to her and the defense, including the electronic data.

Judge Beck told the defense to decide if they wanted to do independent DNA testing on the evidence. 

The judge also asked counsel to finalize their evidence and witnesses, saying that the defense needed to explain who their expert witness was and why they were giving their opinion.

Dean is scheduled for a trial readiness hearing on Feb. 10. 

This article was written by Lea Gianasso.