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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Western District / Criminal Law: Batson Challenge-Text Messages-Expectation of Privacy

Criminal Law: Batson Challenge-Text Messages-Expectation of Privacy

1)Where a defendant, who was convicted of charges including voluntary manslaughter, challenged the denial of his Batson challenge, the state gave appropriate, race-neutral reasons for striking an African American venireperson, and in a reverse-Batson issue, the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s peremptory challenge was harmless error.

2)Where a defendant argued that the trial court committed evidentiary error related to the admission of the defendant’s girlfriend’s cell phone records, whether a person has an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her text messages, which were contained in the cell phone of a third-party recipient,  is an issue of first impression in Missouri, and the appellate court finds that the defendant does not have a privacy interest in a message that he voluntarily turns over to a third party and that is contained in a phone owned by the third party, so without a reasonable expectation of privacy, the defendant lacked standing to challenge the search and seizure of the message, and the judgment is affirmed.

Judgment is affirmed.

State v. Boyd (MLW No. 74267/Case No. WD81879 – 18 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Pfeiffer, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jackson County, Otto, J. (Eric S. Schmitt and Shaun J. Mackelprang, Jefferson City, for respondent) (Annette M. Wallace, Kansas City, Missouri, for appellant).