Cell Phone Search Case from Huntsville Ruled On by State Court

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An issue on the Fourth Amendment front recently came about out of Huntsville. You're arrested, and police take your belongings, including your cell phone. Can authorities look at its contents?

Back in 2010, Huntsville High School student Anthony Granville was arrested for causing a disturbance on a bus. When he was booked into jail, his cell phone was among his personal belongings taken and stored in a property room.

A day earlier, School Resources Officer Everett Harrell says he had gotten word that Granville, in an unconnected incident, had taken a cell phone picture of another student urinating a school restroom. Harrell went to the jail, got Granville's cell phone, searched it and found the picture.

Granville was charged with a state-jail felony of improper photography, but he said his cell phone shouldn't have been searched without a warrant.

Courts have been agreeing with Granville, including an 8-1 ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this past week.

Shane Phelps, who serves as KBTX's legal analyst, helped craft the argument for Granville's side. He joined First News at Four Friday to discuss the case.