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GPS Central To New York Babysitter Murder Trial


pocketgpsworld.comInformation retrieved from a GPS tracking device has provided the evidence necessary to secure a second-degree murder conviction.

GPS tracking devices have provided a supporting role in the courtroom before, but it is believed that this is the first instance where GPS has proved to be the centrepiece evidence for the conviction.

The accused, George Ford Jr. contended that he accidentally ran over his 12 year-old babysitter, Shyanne Somers, in the early hours of July 8, 2007 after she asked to see Ford''s horses on Will Warner Road in the town of Otselic.

Unbeknown to Ford, his wife had previously placed a GPS tracking device within the vehicle after she suspected him of infidelity. The information from the tracking device conflicted with what Ford had told the police.

Using the GPS data the prosecutors were able to show that Ford never took Shyanne to see the horses. He instead spent more than three hours behind an abandoned farmhouse - a half-mile from where the she was killed. Investigators testified that the girl got away from Ford, who chased her and deliberately ran her down shortly after 3 a.m.

The damning information was retrieved from a LandAirSea GPS Tracking Key. Steven Moehling, of LandAirSea was the prosecution''s expert witness during the trial.

A tracking key is a small, pocket sized device that determines the GPS location of the device within 2.5 meters and records travel activities. Data includes routes, speed, direction and duration of stop.

"The GPS was the latest technology and proved beyond any doubt that this man intentionally killed that poor young girl that day," said Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride. He added, "This will always be a landmark case because the GPS unit not only told us where he went but proved he wasn''t telling the truth when he was talking to the police."
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