FARMINGTON, New Hampshire (CBS) — A New Hampshire judge has “directed Amazon.com to produce” any recordings an Amazon Echo may have because it could contain evidence of a January 2017 double-murder. Prosecutors are looking for the two days worth of recording from the Echo in a Meaderboro Road, Farmington home where 47-year-old Christine Sullivan and 32-year-old Jenna Pellegrini were found dead.
The information from the Echo would also include if any cellphones were paired with it.
According to prosecutors, sometime between January 27 and 29, 2017, Sullivan and Pellegrini were murdered by 36-year-old Timothy Verrill. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along with other charges, and is in jail waiting for his trial in May 2019.
“Investigators believe Sullivan was attacked in the kitchen of 979 Meaderboro Road where the Echo was located, and prosecutors believe there is probable cause to believe there is evidence on the Echo, such as audio recordings of the attack and events that followed it,” said court documents.
The bodies of Sullivan and Pellegrini were found under the porch of the home with stab wounds and blunt force trauma, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Amazon’s Echo device has a voice-activated feature called Alexa. “As state prosecutors outline in their motion, Alexa listens for ‘wake-up words,’ from users want it to play music, dim household lights or provide the weather forecast. When a wake-up word is detected, ‘the device begins audio recording through its integrated microphones, including recording the fraction of a second of audio before the wake-up words,’ the attorney general’s office prosecutors stated. The Echo would also maintain records of the devices connected that were paired with it.”
The Echo had been taken from the kitchen while the home was initially searched. Those recordings are saved until they are manually deleted.