Submitted: January 13, 2017
Defendant's Motion to Suppress. Granted.
Stephen R. Welch, Jr., Esquire of the Department of Justice,
Dover, Delaware; attorney for the State.
C. Gill, Esquire of the Law Office of Edward C. Gill, P.A.,
Georgetown, Delaware; attorney for the Defendant.
William L. Witham, Jr. Resident Judge
the Court is a motion to suppress filed by Defendant Qualeel
Westcott. In his motion, Mr. Westcott seeks to suppress (1)
statements made in an interview with a Milford Police
Department detective and (2) evidence collected from mobile
phones pursuant to a search warrant.
hearing on the motion, the State conceded the portion of the
motion that sought suppression of the interview after Mr.
Westcott's ambiguous invocation of his right to counsel.
motion to suppress evidence collected from mobile phones
pursuant to a search warrant is granted.
Westcott stands charged with Attempted Murder in the First
Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and various other counts
arising out of a shooting that occurred on May 11, 2016 in or
around Milford, Delaware.
Westcott was taken into custody by Detective Sergeant Horsman
of the Milford Police Department on May 11, 2016.
Horsman applied for and received a search warrant on May 24,
2016, to search "data and cellular logs" from
mobile phones that the State believed belonged to Mr.
Westcott. The affidavit alleged that a shooting had occurred
and that Mr. Westcott had committed it. It also alleged that
during a consent search of an apartment in which Mr. Westcott
was staying, the police found drugs and three mobile phones.
One of the mobile phones was a Samsung and was located on the
floor in the living room beside a television stand along with
ninety-one bags of heroin and a quantity of marijuana.
Another Samsung mobile phone was found in the bed where
Westcott said he was sleeping. And an iPhone was found on the
dining room table. The tenant at the apartment "stated
that the iPhone was not there before Bolden and Westcott came
to her apartment and she did not know who owned it."
Based on his allegations, the detective sought to search
"the three phones to look for physical evidence or
confession of the shooting or the illegal distribution of
heroin contained therein."
Westcott contends that the search warrant affidavit was
devoid of probable cause because the detective failed to
provide a logical nexus between the mobile phones and the
crime, and the warrant lacked sufficient particularity.
State argues that the affidavit alleged facts that
established a reasonable basis to believe that evidence would
be found on the phones.
evidence is collected according to a search warrant, the
defendant bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of
the evidence that the search or seizure violated his rights
under the United ...