Arkansas judge drops murder charge in Amazon Echo case
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has dismissed a murder charge in a case involving evidence gathered by an Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Television station KHOG reports that the prosecutors’ request to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against James Andrew Bates was granted Wednesday.
Bates was charged in the November 2015 death of Victor Collins, whose body was found in a hot tub at Bates’ home. Prosecutors say they requested the dismissal because the evidence supports more than one reasonable explanation.
The investigation involved recordings from an Amazon Echo smart speaker in Bates’ home. The Echo “listens” for key words and may have recorded what happened before Collins died.
Amazon fought a subpoena, citing customers’ privacy rights, but relented after Bates said he didn’t mind if the technology giant shared the information.