Court orders Facebook to provide Granby manslaughter suspect’s online records
June 4, 2010
The District Court in Hot Sulphur Springs has ordered Facebook Inc. to provide the investigator in a Granby manslaughter case with all the social media company’s online records for the past years pertaining to the suspect in the case.
Judge Mary Hoak issued the order on May 11 and gave the Palo Alto, Calif., company 30 days to comply.
The public defender for manslaughter suspect Kristen Schoen, 25, of Granby subsequently filed a motion to quash the order, but as of Wednesday afternoon, Hoak had not filed a reply to the defender’s motion.
Schoen is accused of reckless manslaughter in the April 18 shooting death of her companion, 25-year-old Michael Thomas. She is being held in the Grand County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
The order would compel Facebook to turn over:
1. All user profile contact information, mini-feeds, status updates, shares, notes, wall postings, friends lists, tags, group listings, future and past events and links.
2. The user photoprint
3. The user private messages.
The order seeks the information from April 18, 2008, to May 10, 2010.
Facebook officials did not respond to an inquiry Thursday seeking comment about the order.
In his Affidavit for Court Order for Production of Records, Joseph M. DeAngelo, chief investigator for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, cites various reasons why the Facebook information could yield evidence material to the case and potential subsequent investigations.
Among them is that DeAngelo quotes Granby Police Chief Bill Housley as indicating the suspect confided in an online Facebook chat that she was depressed because she had caught Thomas cheating on her.
DeAngelo also cites what he alleges were repeated instances of domestic violence and infidelities during Schoen’s and Thomas’ tumultuous two-year relationship, events that Schoen may have detailed in Facebook entries.
In addition to manslaughter charges, Schoen faces a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in a previous case. Thomas was listed as a witness in that case. He also faced a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor stemming from the same incident in which he and Schoen allegedly provided vodka to a 17-year-old.
A preliminary hearing in Schoen’s manslaughter case has been set for 3 p.m. Thursday, June 10. However, prosecutors have filed a motion to continue the case to a later date because at least two officers involved will not be available on that date.
The public defender has filed a motion objecting to the continuance.