In context: Connected video doorbells are everywhere, and like it or not, police are using them to catch criminals. Some see it as the state trampling the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens, while agencies see it as another tool for catching bad guys. In a recent case, a doorbell recorded the confession of an alleged murderer.
According to Texas authorities, a video doorbell similar to Amazon’s Ring captured the confession of a murderer.
Former college football player Michael Egwuagu was apprehended on Friday for allegedly stabbing his sister to death last week. An autopsy revealed that 32-year-old Jennifer Chima Ebichi was stabbed multiple times and was three-months pregnant at the time of her death.
Fox News notes that the former University of Texas at San Antonio football player was captured by a doorbell cam leaving his sister’s house shortly after the murder uttering the words, “I killed Jennifer.”
Neighbors said they heard screams and yelling at the woman’s house. When they went to investigate, they claim to have heard Egwuagu’s unrealized confession. The eye-witnesses also told KEYE-TV he was smiling when he left the house carrying a bloody kitchen knife.
A Travis County Sherriff’s Office spokeswoman told reporters that first responders attempted to resuscitate Ebichi and her unborn child but were unsuccessful.
A judge indicted Egwuagu and set his bail at $500,000.
Earlier this year, Amazon’s Ring doorbells were the center of a privacy controversy when it was revealed that a company policy allowed police to obtain video footage from the devices when requested. Privacy advocates, including the ACLU, view it as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Amazon admitted that it currently has video-sharing partnerships with more than 400 US law enforcement agencies.
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