POLICE Magazine

MAY 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1113598

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Page 44 of 76

42 P O L I C E M AY 2 019 the blanket came back to two males but did not match the two brothers. e de- tective then submitted a second affida- vit that did not disclose the DNA infor- mation but did disclose two additional pieces of information. First, the detective alleged that cell- phone records showed William had called his brother from his mother's apartment several hours after the time of the attack and an hour before William called 911. e detective also alleged that the cell site location records could not place William outside of the area of his mother's apartment at the time of the attack. Based on this additional in- formation a warrant was issued. e plaintiff was arrested for murder and spent two months in jail before he was able to post bail. One year later, the prosecutor elected not to prosecute the case because of "evidentiary issues." Rainsberger then brought suit, alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the detective. e defen- dant filed a summary judgment motion claiming he was entitled to qualified im- munity. e trial court denied the mo- tion finding that, once the false informa- tion was removed from the affidavit and the exculpatory information was added, the affidavit lacked sufficient probable cause. is appeal then followed. SEVENTH CIRCUIT FINDINGS Clearly the most damning piece of "new" evidence added to the second affidavit involves the phone records. According to the affidavit the phone re- cords showed that the defendant made a call to his brother from the victim's apartment an hour before he called 911. However, a phone expert at the police department had informed the detec- tive that the time data on the cell site sheet was off one hour because the cell location was located in a different time zone. e phone call information actu- ally depicted the call the plaintiff made to his brother after finding his mother on the floor. Rainsberger told the detective that he had purchased an iced tea on the way to his mother's house. Police re- viewed video surveillance that they claim showed the defendant "discard- ing a long straight object in the trash"— inferring that the defendant discarded a weapon in the trash. However, the court reviewed the video footage and determined the discarded object looked more like the iced tea can the plaintiff testified he had purchased. In the affidavit the detective claimed nothing was taken from the apartment and that a lockbox containing savings bonds was in plain view and untouched. However, the actual facts were that the victim's pocketbook and medications were taken and the lockbox was hidden and did not contain any valuables. e detective also claimed that the brothers showed no concern over their mother's condition at the hospital, "stormed" out of the station when asked about the polygraph, and that the de- tective never heard from them again. In actuality, the family members left the station, sought legal counsel, and then returned to give fingerprint and DNA samples. e brothers also asked for time to call their sister at the hospital to check on their mother's condition and then asked for directions to the hospital PHOTO: GET T Y IMAGES POINT OF L AW

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