Apple Health data used to convict man in wife's death

Posted:
in General Discussion
An Alabama man has been convicted of manslaughter in the death of his wife after police used Apple Health app data from his iPhone to contradict his alibi.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Jeff West, 47, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the death of his wife, 42-year-old Kat West, according to The Birmingham News.

Kat West died from a blow to the head delivered by her husband, the jury found. Jeff West has maintained his innocence for more than three years since her death in January 2018. The Health app on his iPhone, however, told a different story.

West had told police that he fell asleep around 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2018 and woke up around 5:15 a.m. the next morning to the sound of police vehicles outside his home.

Data from the Health app on his iPhone, however, showed that he had actually taken 18 steps from 11:03 p.m. until 11:10 p.m. on Jan. 12.

Forensic analysis carried out on Kat West's device also showed that the last time she moved was around 10:54 p.m. That was around the time that Jeff claimed to be in bed. Additionally, police also found Jeff's fingerprints at the bottom of the bottle that was used to bludgeon his wife in the head.

According to The Birmingham News, prosecutors believe that Jeff killed his wife after an argument and proceeded to stage the scene to make himself look innocent. Jeff West was a trained crime scene investigator, they added.

West has been in prison for the last three years as the trial progressed, despite his claims of innocence. He was convicted of reckless manslaughter in November, and a judge handed down the 16-year sentence on Monday.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,315member
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    luisfrochabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 10
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    elijahg said:
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    That isn't the only evidence. She was bludgeon to death and they have a murder weapon, and his watch shows that he was awake after the murder. That sounds like a lot more than just circumstantial when you put it all together, and I'm sure there is plenty of other details that we're simply not privy to in this Apple tech article.
    OferbageljoeyronnJinTechDogpersonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    elijahg said:
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    Maybe you sleepwalk? Maybe it’s counting trips to the restroom? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    elijahg said:
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    Maybe you sleepwalk? Maybe it’s counting trips to the restroom? 
    Not necessarily. Plenty of times I place my watch to charge at the end of the day and put it back on for sleeping. As I lay in bed, I might check the watch and it shows that I had stood up and that I had a handful of steps, even though I had been in bed the whole time, just tossing and turning. I’m not saying he didn’t do it; I’m only saying that the Watch sometimes shows activity when there’s none.
    elijahg
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    He didn’t attempt the tried-and-tested police diversion tactic: say a black person did it. 


    GeorgeBMacargonautronnkurai_kage
  • Reply 6 of 10
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,045member
    elijahg said:
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    I haven't experienced that. Back when I paid attention to steps, I found that the Watch sometimes shorted me some steps, and some times I got a few extra, but never when it was stationary, just sitting on the charger. FWIW, very few murder convictions are the result of having only one piece of evidence.

    Xed said:
    That isn't the only evidence. She was bludgeon to death and they have a murder weapon, and his watch shows that he was awake after the murder. That sounds like a lot more than just circumstantial when you put it all together, and I'm sure there is plenty of other details that we're simply not privy to in this Apple tech article.
    Well, no it doesn't. Only from what's been told here, the only physical evidence is his finger prints on the bottle used to murder her. The article doesn't provide the orientation of the prints, which could be suspicious or perfectly innocent. All the rest shown is circumstantial. The police probably have the right guy in custody, and it costs nothing for us to 'try' the case in a forum, especially because we aren't accountable for WAGs, bias, or lack of objectivity.


    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    elijahg said:
    i really don't think that "18 steps" being shown on a health tracker is proof of murder... My watch used to show steps when I was asleep pre-watchOS 7.
    Remember to discriminate between the question of guilt vs. the vetting of the defendant’s alibi 🙄😉
    —the “18 steps” were (hopefully) not introduced as direct evidence of murder, but probably as a means to undermine the defendant’s alibi: If nobody believes that you slept while your wife was assaulted elsewhere in the house, then everybody will believe that you were the sorry-ass, CSI-trained semi-human that screwed yourself!
    edited February 10 GeorgeBMacrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    How did they get the data? Did this guy actually give authorization to access his data and did so without first verifying the information prior to granting access?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    NinjaMan said:
    How did they get the data? Did this guy actually give authorization to access his data and did so without first verifying the information prior to granting access?
    Presumably via a search warrant.

    If you don't want your smart devices to testify against you when you commit a crime, leave them home when you go on a killing spree (although that odd act can also tip off a shrewd investigator).  Or I suppose you could refrain from murdering people.  
    mknelsonwatto_cobra
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