Judge could toss ‘ShotSpotter’ evidence in shooting trial - WNEM TV 5

Judge could toss ‘ShotSpotter’ evidence in shooting trial

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

At this hour, TV5 is still waiting to hear if a judge will throw out evidence in a local murder case.

Lawyers for 19-year-old Donte Houston want information from the Saginaw Police's ShotSpotter system thrown out.

Houston is accused of opening fire at an intersection last June and a stray bullet killed a 70-year-old woman.

The high-tech piece of equipment in Saginaw was instrumental in the conviction of two teens charged with armed robbery and assault in May of 2010.


According to the Saginaw News, prosecutors used audio recordings from ShotSpotter to prove Gregory M. Ashworth and Jason T. Tarver robbed a man of his sunglasses and money at gunpoint in early July 2009.


Police used the global positioning system to track the time and origin of the gunshots, as supported by a witnesses who testified in the case.

The city purchased ShotSpotter in 2008. The system is supposedly accurate to within a few feet of the origin of the gunshots. It works by relying on a sonar device placed on a building and can provide surveillance out to a radius of a mile wide. Numerous microphones strategically placed within the radius of the sonar's effective range allow the system to triangulate where exactly the shots originate.

Other cities that utilize ShotSpotter include Washington, D.C., Oakland, Calif., and Minneapolis.

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