Amazon Echo may have captured audio of murder

A stock image of an Amazon Echo

Christine Sullivan, 48, and her friend Jenna Pellegrini, 32, were found stabbed to death in the backyard of Sullivan's Farmington, New Hampshire home on January 29, 2017.

She was stabbed eight times and her skull fractured in the kitchen.

Verrill's jury trial on charges of two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of falsification of physical evidence was scheduled to begin this month but was postponed so his public defender, Melissa Davis, could have more time to prepare.

The potential recording is now stored on an Amazon server. Authorities have previously noted that the bodies of the women were found stabbed to death under a tarp, with a knife buried nearby.

"In the upstairs bedroom, he showed [police] a large blood stain on a mattress and downstairs in the kitchen area and on the refrigerator", Sgt Brian Strong, who arrived at the home after Smoronk reported the women missing, testified at the August 2017 hearing.

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"Accordingly, the State's motion to search in lieu of a search warrant is granted", the ruling by Houran states.

On Oct. 30, Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward asked Houran to direct Amazon.com to produce any recordings made between January 27 and January 29, 2017, suggesting evidence of the crime of murder and/or hindering apprehension of prosecution could be found on the device.

According to local media accounts, Strafford County Superior Court Presiding Justice Steven M. Houran compelled Amazon to disclose not only the audio files but any associated data-such as what phones were paired to the smart speaker-that may be connected to the January 2017 murder of Christine Sullivan and Jenna Pellegrini.

Amazon's Echo is supposed to activate only when the user utters a predetermined "wake word", but there have been numerous reports of the devices turning on by themselves, speaking and laughing creepily without being activated by the user.

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