RI man accused in fatal beating of child seeks US Supreme Court ruling on cellphone evidence

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A Central Falls man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend's 6-year-old son is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court his challenge to the admissibility of cellphone evidence seized by the Cranston police.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1rI4ZmA ) that Michael Patino is seeking a review of a state Supreme Court ruling that he did not maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy on undelivered messages in his girlfriend's phone. The ruling preserved key evidence against him, particularly incriminating text messages.

George J. West, Patino's lawyer, says Patino maintained privacy rights in the text messages in the phone, regardless of who owns and controls it.

He says personal information in a text conversation and sent but undelivered text messages are private and protected from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.

Patino has pleaded not guilty.

Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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