- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of an inmate who challenged the Omaha Police Department’s use of “shot-spotter” technology, which records gunfire, pinpoints its origin and automatically notifies police.

Thylun “Jay” Hill, of Omaha, is serving life in prison after being convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder the February 2012 shooting death of Anthony Carter. Prosecutors said Hill shot Carter during an argument after a night of drinking.

Hill argued in his appeal that evidence from the shot-spotter system should not have been admitted at his trial. He questioned whether the system had been properly tested and if police improperly relied on information it provided.

But the high court dismissed those arguments Friday, the Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/X92bo0 ).

Hill’s arguments were “somewhat dubious,” Justice Michael McCormack wrote in the opinion, noting that officers reported hearing the gunshots at the same time the system recorded them and that Carter was found at the location pinpointed by system.

Douglas County Public Defender Tom Riley, whose office defended Hill, said he doesn’t expect Friday’s ruling will be the last challenge of the shot-spotter system.

“It’s rare that something is deemed to be admissible and that’s the end of the question, especially with technology where it keeps changing,” Riley told the World-Herald.

The city of Omaha installed 80 shot-spotter sensors in north Omaha in 2011. The project was funded with a $900,000 federal Justice Department grant.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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