- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An attorney for a Jefferson City man set to die for a 2009 slaying argued to the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday that police unfairly tracked him down through his cellphone following the killing.

David Hosier’s lawyer told judges that police unjustly traced the man through phone signals after Angela Gilpin and her husband, Rodney, were found dead at the woman’s Jefferson City apartment.

Hosier was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Angela Gilpin and sentenced to death. Prosecutors say Hosier had a relationship with her while she was separated from her husband. Hosier has not been tried in Rodney Gilpin’s death.

Hosier left Missouri after the shooting and was in Oklahoma by the time police found him. A search of his car later identified the murder weapon among multiple firearms, a bulletproof vest and ammunition.

Hosier appealed the conviction, saying police violated his rights by conducting an unreasonable search and seizure when they tracked him through his phone. The gun from his car, according to his appeal, is the only evidence connecting him with Angela Gilpin’s murder.

His appeal to the Supreme Court centers on proving that the gun and other evidence used against him were unlawfully taken by police and shouldn’t be used in court.

He faces execution if judges support an earlier court ruling allowing the weapons to be used during the trial.

Other cases of phone and data privacy have risen to the nation’s highest court in recent years. The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that police can’t search phones during an arrest without a warrant, and the National Conference of State Legislatures reports about 10 states have passed legislation granting residents similar protections.

Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure in August enshrining those protections in the state constitution.

Hosier’s appeal touches on similar concerns of law enforcement or government encroaching on privacy to monitor citizens.

Police officers obtained a court order allowing them to track Hosier’s phone. Prosecutors said Hosier gave police reason for suspicion when he left Missouri for Oklahoma, which they said was a sign of his guilt.

But Hosier is arguing that an affidavit used to request the order lacked facts to back up why it was needed.

“You have an expectation of privacy and not (to) be tracked every movement,” Hosier’s attorney, Craig Johnston, told the judges.

Not everyone, it seemed, was sold on that idea.

“Where’s that established?” Judge Paul Wilson asked, noting Hosier was on a public roadway when police apprehended him. “They could’ve followed him in a helicopter. They could’ve followed him in a car.”

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Follow Summer Ballentine at: http://www.twitter.com/esballentine .

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