NH Judge Orders Amazon to Give Echo Recordings in Murder Case

Timothy Verrill accused of killing two women in Farmington in 2017


DOVER, N.H. —
An Amazon Echo device could play a role in a double-homicide case in Farmington.

A judge has ordered Amazon to turn over recordings that might have been captured by an Echo smart speaker in the Farmington house where two women were stabbed to death in January 2017.

Timothy Verrill of Dover is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Jenna Pellegrini, 32, and Christine Sullivan, 48. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said they believe the Echo device, which listens for Alexa voice commands, might have recorded audio of Sullivan’s death, as well as anything that happened before or after it.

State police have the speaker, and the judge agreed to let them access the recordings and ordered Amazon to turn over any recordings on its servers.

Experts said the case reveals some of the implications of having such devices in people’s homes.

“I think most people probably don’t even realize that Alexa is taking account of what’s going on in your house, in addition to responding to your demands and commands,” said Albert Scherr, a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Amazon officials said the company won’t release any information until a valid legal demand has been properly served.

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